Do You Get Stiff and Sore After Exercise?
This is the fifth article in my new series called Your Exercise GPA and today we discuss the importance of stretching which I have brought forward because like your strength exercises you should get into the habit of stretching from the start.
Regular stretching will reduce muscle tension and relax your body. It will improve coordination and increase your range of motion which helps to prevent injuries. Think about it this way, what are you told to do when rehabilitating an injury? The answer is to improve your flexibility by stretching and increase your muscle strength.
Your Stretching GPA
Give yourself the following GPA score:
4.0 – You focus on effective stretching each time you exercise.
3.0 – You stretch regularly though you know it could be more effective.
2.0 – You do some stretching but it is inconsistent and not very effective.
1.0 – You do no stretching at all.
How To Improve Your Stretching
- Stretching is not warming up! If you stretch before exercising make sure you warm up for at least 10 minutes.
- Stretching after exercise is definitely a good idea. You’ll improve the flexibility of muscles that would otherwise be stiff and sore up and you’ll be glad in your next workout.
- Stretching is especially beneficial for walkers and runners. It increases flexibility of the ankles, calves, hamstrings and hips which is important in improving performance and avoiding injury.
- The right way to stretch is a relaxed, sustained stretch for at least thirty seconds, where your attention is focused on the muscle being stretched.
- You should never experience pain stretching; if you do you should stop right away and get the ice out!
In the next article/video in the series we will discuss the importance of intensity. We will identify your Intensity GPA and I will give you some tips on how to improve your score. To make sure you receive this blog series you can subscribe below.
Until the next time remember my motto:
You don’t have to be fit to start, but you do have to start to be fit and healthy.
By Jim Kirwan