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Old 11-26-2009, 08:33 AM   #21
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Stretching is very important, especially now since we live such sedentary lifestyles!
I tell all of my clients to stretch at work every hour to give their bodies a break from being in one position for too long. Stretching prior to working out helps the muscles to warm up prior to being used full throttle.
The best way to integrate stretching is via yoga or active isolated stretching that I have my therapist do on me to loosen me up.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:24 AM   #22
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I love stretching, and use the pool for stretching exercises each time I go there. I feel more flexible and less stiff afterwards, and feel increased wellness being stretched out.
However, I didn't know it was an inherited trait, which explains why I'm so flexible at this age being that my mother could put her feet behind her head! (Maybe that's one of the reasons she's 91 now?)
There is always one of us in every crowd that dissents, yes? And I guess it's me this time as I just love stretching.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:26 PM   #23
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I am convinced that stretching can be beneficial; but, if I remember the research correctly, it must be done at least twice a day, every day to be beneficial (reduce chance of injury, etc.). I have been trying to follow a twice a day routine for the last couple of years; and, I know that I feel much better when I stay with my routine. (Yes, I realize it my be psychosomatic; but, I'm fine with that as long as I feel good.)

I've also see quite a bit of research showing yoga to be more effective than any of the traditional treatments for back pain.

Apologies for not including any links, references, etc. But, I Thanksgiving dinner has just been served; and, I'm hungry.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by citrine View Post
Stretching is very important, especially now since we live such sedentary lifestyles!
I tell all of my clients to stretch at work every hour to give their bodies a break from being in one position for too long. Stretching prior to working out helps the muscles to warm up prior to being used full throttle.
The best way to integrate stretching is via yoga or active isolated stretching that I have my therapist do on me to loosen me up.
Five years ago while I was training for a marathon (power walking it not running) I was skeptical of the extensive stretching my training group was doing. So I spent a couple of days researching on the internet.

The bottom line is that static stretches before you exercise, provide no benefit and may result in increased injuries, especially for more intensive exercise like fast running or heavy weightlifting. This is because the stretch loosens and weakens the muscle which may cause it to fail easier.

My marathon/triathlete girlfriend and my sister the fitness nut, didn't believe at first. Then over the next couple of year their various running and fitness magazine featured several stories saying the same thing as I said.

Instead of stretching before you exercise, you are far better off doing a much less intensive version of your exercise for 5 to 10 minutes to let your muscles warm up. So a slow jog, before running, a few sets of light weights, or a a few practice volleys on the tennis courts is a much better alternative.

Now stretching after you work out is different story. Most studies have shown that it reduces soreness after exercise and may help with flexibility.
So I think you should stretch out after working. I believe Yoga is a different because it tends to be more dynamic stretches, but my Yoga experience is limited to Wii Fit

Finally, the good feeling you get from stretching is caused by your body producing endorphins to mask the pain as you create micro-tears in your muscles..
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:05 PM   #25
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I believe Yoga is a different because it tends to be more dynamic stretches, but my Yoga experience is limited to Wii Fit
Yoga is very slow and gradual stretch-wise and poses are held a long time (there is no bouncing or rapid movement). And you don't get into the more serious poses with the deeper stretching until after a pretty good warm-up.

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #26
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I've also see quite a bit of research showing yoga to be more effective than any of the traditional treatments for back pain.
If you have trouble with your back, you do need to be very careful with yoga, and it might be best to learn from someone with back therapy experience. My husband has occasionally had lower back problems and would sometimes get into trouble and hurt himself with the seated forward bends.

He seems to manage any back problems and avoid injury best now through regular fitness training that includes a lot core abdominal work.

Audrey
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