Barbara suggested for our last challenge making sure we warm up and stretch. Here's a short article that is full of good information. It is talking about running but it could be any activity.
It is very important to take time to stretch before and after a run. This is especially true if you have been prone to injuries in your running career. One of the most important things about stretching is that you can actually do more harm than good if you don’t know what you are doing. Make sure to follow these steps to ensure that you stretch correctly.
1.Warm up: Never stretch when your muscles are cold. Ideally, you should jog for a few minutes to loosen your muscles up before you stretch.
2.Don’t overstretch: I have known a number of runners who have pulled muscles by stretching too aggressively. You only need to feel a slight tug in your muscle when stretching…anything more can give you a troublesome injury.
3.Don’t try to heal an injury by stretching: Do not think that more stretching automatically means more healing. Although stretching is very beneficial for stiff muscles, do not think of it as a cure-all. This is especially true for hamstring problems. When you are feeling pain in a muscle, only stretch the muscle very lightly. If the pain increases from the stretch stop immediately.
4.Stretch correctly: Don’t simply hold a stretch for 5 seconds and go onto the next muscle…that does nothing. Rather, try this routine: 1) Hold a stretch for 30 seconds, 2) relax for 30 seconds, 3) stretch the same muscle again for 30 seconds. Repeat this at least 3-4 times. It takes time, but you will really loosen up your muscles.
runners-resource- March 27, 2009
Have an excellent and healthy week!