I’m a firm believer in stretching but I know a lot of people who don’t stretch at all. I couldn’t imagine running a half marathon and not stretching…or doing a 45 minute spinning class and just walking out. I will admit, I wasn’t always a firm believer in stretching but then I noticed I started to get really tight and I had a couple of minor injuries.
Let’s just say I was scared straight into stretching and it was the best wake up call ever.
I’m sharing this information because a lot of you are just now starting on a weight loss/fitness journey and some things are just not as common sense as we believe them to be in the beginning.
Before we get to stretching, please take the time to warm up! If you attend a group fitness class, the warm up is kind of built in to your workout. It’s amazing what a difference 5 minutes of warming up will do for the body. But just as important is a warm up is, it’s important to have a cool down too. It’s important to bring your heart rate down.
This goes for any activity. Going for walk? Warm up and cool it down. Going to Zumba? Warm up and cool down. Running for you life? Warm up, cool down. And most importantly don’t forget to stretch.
Here are some stretches I always do (in no particular order):
1. Quad stretch
2. Glute stretch
3. Calf stretch
4. Upper body stretches
5. Hamstring stretch
And I’m a huge fan of foam rolling. I understand that it’s a controversial topic but it works for me. It helps loosen the muscles and keeps me going for my next workout it. Don’t get me wrong, foam rolling is not always fun but it’s a necessary evil.