What’s your new year’s resolution? Are you thinking of going to the gym or starting a new form of exercise?
Did you know mobility, stretching and posture are key elements to starting any new activity?
Most people don’t realize that if you start a physical activity without stretching the muscles properly, it could lead to injuries like muscle strain, sprain or acute spasm .
Did you know that 5 out of 10 people get acute injuries due to lack of stretching, poor posture awareness and reduced mobility?
Stretching helps prepare your body for exercise and is also an essential part of your recovery. All exercise sessions should begin and end with stretching — not just for the mental relaxation benefits. Increasing your flexibility improves your ability to move easily and therefore improves your exercise performance. You will have less muscle tension and your posture will likely improve. Most importantly, stretching after each workout reduces your risk for injury.
Get the most out of your flexibility training by following these simple guidelines:
1) Always warm up the muscles with a few minutes of cardio before you stretch. Stretching cold muscles can cause injury.
2) Stretch slowly and gently. Breathe into your stretch to avoid muscle tension. Relax and hold each stretch 10 to 15 seconds.
3) Do not bounce your stretches. Ballistic (bouncy) stretching can cause injury.
Below are some sample stretching
1) Quadriceps – Hold the top of your right foot with right hand and gently pull your heel toward your buttocks. Repeat with other leg.
2) Calf – Stand close to a solid support, and lean on it with your forearms. Bend one leg and place your foot on the ground in front of you, with the other leg straight behind. Slowly move your hips forward, keeping your lower back flat.
3) Shoulder – Gently pull your elbow across your chest toward your opposite shoulder. Repeat with the other elbow.