The ben­e­fits of stretch­ing!

THE BEN­E­FITS OF STRETCH­ING ARE CRYS­TAL CLEAR

OK! (Australia) - - Contents -

You’re drip­ping with sweat and your work­out is done and dusted. But be­fore you even think about grab­bing a post­work­out snack or tak­ing a cold shower, don’t for­get one of the most im­por­tant el­e­ments – your cool down! ‘After I work­out, it’s im­por­tant for me to stretch and lengthen,’ Halle Berry, 52, shares. ‘Fit­ness is not just about run­ning, lift­ing and punch­ing. For me, be­ing ath­letic and su­per-fit is also about be­ing still, stretch­ing and breath­ing.’ It’s easy to for­get to stretch. It’s of­ten over­looked be­cause the re­sults are not as vis­i­ble as lift­ing weights and squat­ting. But stretch­ing can ac­tu­ally lead to bet­ter pos­ture, fewer aches and pains and greater con­fi­dence. This is due to the in­crease in blood flow and cir­cu­la­tion, with stretch­ing send­ing oxy­gen to your brain for a clearer mind and hap­pier moods.

And that’s not all! ‘In­clud­ing stretch­ing in my fit­ness pro­gram helps my mus­cles stay long, lim­ber, im­proves my mo­bil­ity and range of mo­tion and, most im­por­tantly, helps me avoid in­juries,’ Halle ad­vo­cates.

Spend10 min­utes after your work­out per­form­ing a series of static stretches (hold­ing a stretch from any­where be­tween 30 sec­onds to a minute). Iron­ing out the kinks with a foam roller will also as­sist your over­all re­cov­ery.

And, don’t for­get to stretch be­fore your work­out as well! This is where dy­namic or mov­ing stretches come into play, where things like lung­ing, twist­ing and shoul­der cir­cles help to ac­ti­vate mus­cles that you’ll be us­ing in your work­out and im­prove your range of mo­tion. Just re­mem­ber – dy­namic be­fore, static after!

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