Remember the days when bending down to touch your toes was as easy as…that? Now that you’re older, moving your body in certain ways may be trickier, especially if you’re not active or haven’t spent much time stretching over the years. I grew up involved in cheerleading and gymnastics, so bending and stretching was a part of my normal routine. But today, flexibility is something I work on maintaining—not because I’m still cheering sports teams from the sidelines, but because staying flexible is good for my health.
Pre-workout routines are easy. You eat a light, healthy meal about an hour before exercising, mentally plan your session, pump yourself up with motivating music, stretch, warm up and get to it. But what about after your workout?
I have to confess: Even though I’m well aware of its importance, I don’t stretch as often as I should. I’ve always been flexible, so not stretching every day didn’t seem to have much of an impact on me. But over the years, and with more muscle added to my frame, I’ve noticed that I’m not nearly as flexible as I used to be.
Q: Do you have any tips to help prepare or warm up for an intense training session?
Brandon Marsh answers:
A: Warming up is important before ANY training session. You’re probably thinking that you don’t have time to warm up and cool down. But starting on cold muscles could hurt you (literally) in the long run. Because warming up is a form of exercise, you can view it as an extension of your workout. Do yourself a favor and implement my three “Es” of an effective warm up, especially before an intense training day. I promise these are quick and “eeeasy.”
Most people know that stretching before a workout is a good idea. But post-workout stretching is important, too. Learn why, and find out which stretches are best, in this video tip from fitness expert Nicole Wilkins.
Wondering if you should stretch before your workout? Searching for a way to minimize unsightly sun spots? Our content partners at Wellness Times have the answers to these and other common health questions.
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