The Importance of Stretching

The Importance of Stretching

It almost seems like there is a dramatic cut off point for muscle soreness.  One day you are able to do simple physical activities such as workout or play sports without feeling sore, and then one day it seems you can’t make it through any activity without feeling stiff and sore as soon as you are done.  The ware on muscles over time contributes to the stiffness and soreness that comes after working out.  It seems to be just another thing that comes with getting old.  Yet, there is a simple procedure that will prevent and reduce this stiffness from occurring: stretching before and after workouts.

The importance of stretching cannot be overstated.  If you will get into a practice of stretching, even before you notice muscle soreness after workouts, then you will extend the life of your muscles and avoid harmful injuries.   Any good stretching routine should include all of the major muscle groups in the body.  The Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Chest, Back, Legs, Calves, and core should all be included in some type of stretch.  Although stretching routines can include numerous stretches for each of the major muscle groups, it is really only necessary to do one stretch for each of the groups.  (Unless there is a specific muscle group that you individually have a problem with, then you should take the necessary time to really stretch out that muscle group.)  Personal preference and intelligent research should help in deciding which stretches to use.  Each of the stretches should be maintained for at least 20-30 seconds, and should then be repeated a second time and held for maximum results.  It is important to not only stretch before a workout, but after as well.  Not only does it help the muscles to recover if you stretch after a workout, but it also will help to build more lean muscle.  This is due to stretching being a sustained muscle exercise, which complements a resistance based workout.  Stretching really helps people to get more out of the time that they put into workouts.

Another way to get more out of your workout is to add additional protein to your nutritional diet.  Your body uses protein to build lean muscle.  Lean muscle growth increases the number of calories that your body consumes while idle.  Which mean if you increase the amount of protein, then your body will be able to construct more lean muscle, and help you to become stronger and lose more weight.  A good way to increase your protein in your diet is to add a protein supplement.

When looking for protein supplements look for a whey protein supplement.  Whey protein supplements are dairy based, and thus easy for a humans to digest compared to the soy based protein supplements.  You should also look to purchase an isolate whey protein versus a whey protein concentrate.  Whey protein isolate contains 90% pure protein, and doesn’t have the fats and carbohydrates that concentrates contain.  Whey protein supplements are easy to take, and don’t require any schedules or difficult dosages.

Adding stretching and changing your nutritional practices are good ways to help your body’s muscles and to drop some weight.  It is a very basic change, but it will make a big difference in the long run.

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