Friday, December 4, 2009

stretching 101

a few things to remember when you are stretching....first, the best time to stretch is AFTER you exercise, because your muscles are warmed up. i'm a fan of jillian from th biggest loser...and she had the following tips:

stay hydrated...always. not just when exercising, but always. the 8-by-8 rule is a handy guide...drink 8 oz of water, 8 times a day. 64 ounces every keeps your muscles hydrated, cleanses your entire body of toxins, carries nutrients to your cells, keeps stuff moist that's supposed to be your ears and nose.

seems menial, but you need to breathe slowly and evenly. deliberate breathing delivers oxygen to your muscles.

stretch evenly. hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Be sure to st
retch all your muscle groups — if you stretch the front of the thighs (quadriceps), make sure you stretch the back of the thighs (hamstrings). also, stretch your whole body not just your legs — stretch your arms, back, neck, stomach, chest, etc.

maintain good posture and do the stretches correctly so as to not hurt your back or strain other muscles.

and where there are do's there are some things you DON'T do as well...

use slow, even movements when stretching. bouncing places too much stress on your muscles and joints and doesn't help you stretch better.

be patient, and never force your body to go where it doesn't want to. you will begin to see results if you keep at it.

don't overextend your joints. hyperextending (bending joints farther th
an they were meant to go) can cause injury and doesn't help you in any way. plus, it hurts!

Finally — if it hurts, DON'T DO IT.
always listen to your body. if you're stretching correctly, you should feel tension on the muscles, and possibly some slight discomfort. If you have any sharp or serious pain during a stretch or exercise, STOP, because you may do harm to your body. remember, pain is your body's way of telling you that something isn't right. If you do have an injury, ask your doctor about exercise and stretching and follow his or her advice.

get more fitness tips from Jillian Michaels! she's pretty awesome!

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