There are plenty of advantages to stretching – provided you do it right. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible and healthy, and helps keep your body young. It even helps prevent certain kinds of muscular degeneration.

One of the primary components of keeping fit is to keep your muscles flexible. It dispenses with stiffness – which is a major obstacle to fitness. Stretching helps limber up muscles and keeps them in peak working conditions. They help reap the benefits of exercise and workouts. But as mentioned earlier – stretching should be done right – or you could end up hurting your muscles.

Here are a few basic facts about stretching:

It’s a common misconception that you need to stretch before you warm up. Start off your day with a walk. This would provide the initial much needed warm up. When you take the trouble to warm up – the blood rushes to the muscles – making them more amenable to stretches and exercises. Stretching cold muscles is likely to hurt.

Start off with gentle stretches. Don’t stiffen your limbs – but stretch them easily. Don’t hold your stretches or stretch for too long. If it hurts – stop at once – you could injure a muscle if you continue. Stretching is never supposed to hurt.

Muscles tend to stiffen immediately after a vigorous workout. A stretching session after your exercise will keep your muscles lithe and supple.

Ideally, stretching is about moving a muscle to its full range – and holding it there for about 10 seconds before you relax. This should be repeated about 10 times for each part of the body. Do this at least 3 -4 times a week.

Stretching can benefit your mind too. That’s why a lot of yogic exercises use different kinds of stretching. Focus on the muscles you are stretching. Slow repetitive movements done with controlled breathing are a sure way to bust stress.

Stretch the advantage of good health – with a few stretches.

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