Whether you are a high school student getting ready to play dodge-ball, a middle aged mom getting ready for a run or a professional basketball player getting ready to perform, stretching is an absolute must because it helps get your body ready for the exercise it’s about to get.
Before you begin stretching it is important to warm up to raise your body temperature and to increase your heart rate. This gets the oxygen and blood flowing to your muscles and it prepares you body to burn energy. A good warm up time is around seven to ten minutes. If your getting ready to play a sport, do some jumping jacks for eight minutes or if your going on a run, walk ten minutes and get nice and loose.
Once you are done warming up, you can begin stretching. (If you start out by stretching right away without warming up, it can lead to injuries. You want to stretch nice and warm muscles.)
- Stretching should never hurt
- If you feel any pain at all, STOP immediately
- Hold stretches for 15 – 25 seconds
- Do not bounce while stretching
- It’s important to remember to breathe during stretches, helps the muscles get the oxygen they need
- Stretch both sides of body the same amount.
- Educate yourself on specific stretches that best suite you for the activity your performing
- After exercising you need to “cool down,” stretching is critical in the cool down process