What are the benefits of stretching
Research has suggested that stretching can decrease pain and soreness after exercise. However, there is no evidence to support the theory that stretching before exercise prevents overuse or acute injuries. Warming up alone has no effect on range of motion, but when warm-up is followed by stretching there is an increase in range of motion. Many people have misinterpreted this finding to mean that stretching before exercise prevents injuries, even though the clinical research suggests otherwise. A better interpretation is that warm-up prevents injury. If injury prevention is your primary objective the evidence suggests you should limit stretching before exercise and increase warm-up.
Use these tips to keep stretching safe:
· So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes.
· Focus on major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on major muscle groups such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders.
· Don't bounce. Stretch in a smooth movement, without bouncing. Bouncing as you stretch can cause injury to your muscle.
· Hold your stretch. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds; in problem areas, you may need to hold for around 60 Don't consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. seconds. Breathe normally as you stretch
· Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi or yoga, for instance, may be a good way to stretch.