The Secrets of Long-Term Health – Stretching For Fitness Success
I used to have an old Kawasaki motorcycle that just would not run right unless you gave it about 5 minutes of warm-up time. The thing would bog down, stall out, and sputter like crazy! Once it had a chance to warm up, though, the bike ran great, idled well, and picked up quick.
Our bodies are a lot like that old beater bike in that way. When you are getting ready to do your workout, you need to be sure to warm up. A typical warm up should include stretching, a short jog to get your heart rate up, and some very light repetitions of the exercise you’re about to begin. The other day I went jogging with my wife around the block. As we were getting ready to go, I made sure to stretch out thoroughly. We ran a pretty good distance, and when we got done I was hardly winded. A couple of nights after that I was going out jogging again, but this time I didn’t focus so much effort on the stretching beforehand. This time I wasn’t able to go half as far, and I had to stop several times to catch my breath! I was absolutely amazed at the difference that stretching made!
Another example, this one from just a few days ago: I go to the gym during my lunch break at work. It was chest day, so I did my stretches, but this time focused more on really stretching down deep. I really focused on loosening up my chest and shoulders for about five minutes, then did a light set of chest press. I went on to put up more weight than I ever had before, with what seemed like a lot less exertion than I normally have to go through!
So set yourself up for some great successes with your workouts! Your body will be healthier, and you will find added strength and stamina.