Weight Loss Support - Stretching Exercises

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01-06-2006, 06:26 PM
I am really bad at remembering to do stretching exercises
before I exercise... do many of you ladies stretch?

I found a website with some stretching instructions:

01-06-2006, 06:40 PM
Thanks, Kristy! That is really going to be helpful!

01-06-2006, 06:44 PM
Good reminder!!

As you age, it's really important to stretch--not just before and after exercise, but often. My personal trainer is 64 years old, and she's in incredible shape, both flexible and muscular (arms to die for!). She really stresses the importance of stretching in the morning when you get up to get the body going.

01-06-2006, 07:17 PM
When I was younger I was very athletic, on school teams, etc. I hardly stretched at all. Now I'm 42 and ALWAYS build in stretching time, because otherwise I can hardly walk for the rest of the day (not so important when I swim with the Masters club, but for running... mandatory).

I do a lot of yoga-type stretches. Ironically, my hamstrings were very tight from running recently so I OVER-stretched, pulling the muscles just under my butt to the point where I couldn't run at all for a few days (though the elliptical was fine, oddly enough).

Anyway, I think stretching is important!

01-07-2006, 01:09 AM
Actually, stretching BEFORE exercise is old school and many fitness experts don't recommend it. Stretching muscle when it's cold can actually increase your risk of injury. If you feel that it's really important, do at LEAST 5 minutes warm-up first so the muscle is pliable.

There is actually not much solid evidence that stretching after exercise is important, either. Now, I LIKE to stretch after because it feels good. I also like working on my flexibility, balance, etc. as a part of my general workout, and I take a yoga class. But there is no clinical evidence (last time I read up on it) that streteching before or after a cardio or weight workout does anything to prevent soreness or any of the other benefits that people think it offers.

01-07-2006, 01:54 AM
I find that if I don't stretch before a good length of exercising, my muscles
really hurt the next day.

01-07-2006, 02:03 PM
I'm with funniegrrl, you need to warm your muscles up first before you stretch, it's dangerous to stretch cold muscles. Even if its just five minutes on the bike, treadmill or cross trainer - or dancing or star jumps whatever, before you stretch. Try posting on the exercise forums too for more advice, there are trainers out there, like Meg and Mel and experienced exercisers who really know what they are talking about.

01-07-2006, 09:41 PM
If you want to stretch before a workout, it's best to do some warming-up first. If you're running laps, for example, walk a couple of laps first to loosen up your muscles, THEN do some light stretches. I always stretch afterwards, though, not before.

As far as there not being evidence that stretching can prevent soreness, see my earlier post - if I don't stretch out those tightened muscles after running I am in a LOT of pain later in the day. Stretching just seems to round out the workout somehow, and I feel great.