When you take aerobic and resistance exercise your muscles get stronger, but they also get stiffer and tighter. They lose some of their elasticity. The way to get over this is to do flexibility exercises. This will stretch your muscles and keep them supple. It will help you to function better.
Flexibility exercise will increase your co-ordination and help to lubricate your joints, as well as increasing the circulation of blood and reducing muscle ache.
Before you start flexibility exercises You won’t lose weight by doing flexibility exercises, but they’ll help you reach a new level of fitness by stretching the muscles you use in your aerobic and resistance exercises, and keeping them supple. These exercises are important because they keep your joints flexible and stable, and they reduce the risk of injury. Stretching and flexing your muscles and joints also makes you feel better. Try to do stretching exercises before and after you take exercise.
When you start to stretch, you should always do so slowly and gradually. You should be able to feel a gradual pulling on your muscles. Don’t lock your joints when you are stretching, and whatever you do, don’t bounce or jerk or you will cause injury. Breathe in as you begin to stretch, and as you relax and let go, breathe out. Don’t immediately go into another stretch after you’ve completed one. Take a few seconds out, and then start again.
‚ When you stretch, concentrate on the muscle you are stretching.
‚ Don’t bounce. Stretch gradually.
‚ Stretch until you feel slight tension in the muscle.
‚ Hold the stretch for about 10 – 15 seconds.
‚ If the tension increases while you are holding the stretch, or you feel pain, release the tension. If muscles feel they are being over-stretched, they will contract to protect themselves.
‚ Don’t hold your breath when you stretch. Breathe normally.
‚ If you’re stressed, stretching will help. Stretching your muscles helps to release tension.
‚ Before you go to bed, have a good stretch. You’ll sleep so much better. Take a hint from animals – they have a good stretch before they sleep.