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Stretching

Timeless Fitness Tip

Let's talk about stretching. The results of a study found those who did a toning/stretching routine at least three times a week, had the same improvement in self esteem you hear about exercise giving you.

Stretching

To feel great without a vigorous work out, sign up for a stretching and/or toning class, or purchase or rent a video.

Stretching Guidelines

  • Stretch big: Stretch the large muscle groups of the upper and lower body. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Tone, too. Strength training for 20 to 30 minutes, two or three times a week is recommended in addition to the stretching. Do 8 to 12 repetitions for each major muscle group.
  • Keep it up! People who are active more frequently have an increased "Strength Esteem" as well as a "physical condition self-esteem".

On the flip side of this, those that stopped moving had a significant drop in both aspects of self-esteem.

Yoga Stretch

Fitness Stretching Hint

Try a beginner's Hatha yoga tape - yoga is an excellent way to deeply stretch all the muscles in your body on a regular basis. Yet, it is gentle and non-impact so it will not harm your joints or cause other exercise related injuries.

For beginners, we recommend Yoga Stretch for Beginners and Beyond . This DVD will help you develop a strong foundation of total body strength, stamina and flexibility. There is no chanting or sanskrit terminology used.

Don't Just Stand -- Stretch!

It's easy to fit stretching into your day; try these 3 tips. Practice some stretches while waiting in shopping lines. Simple neck and shoulder rolls are a great way to release stress and relax tight muscles. And make use of the stairs -- a great tool for stretching out your calves. How important is it to stretch? The American College of Sports Medicine has added stretching to its fitness recommendations. Stretching will keep your muscles supple and flexible, in addition to helping prevent injury. Besides that, it feels good! Try it!

Yoga and/or Tai Chi

Practicing yoga can improve balance, tone muscles and release stress. Hatha Yoga provides a slow-paced intro to basic poses. For a challenge, Ashtanga yoga offers a fast-paced flow with constant movement. Bikram, or "hot" yoga, covers 26 positions in an over-heated room to warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Balance fitness pursuits with an activity that connects body and mind: Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient form of soft martial arts, using graceful, flowing poses that allow you to focus on movement and breathing at the same time - creating a feeling of relaxation, calm and overall well being.

Evening Stretch

By mid to late evening, your body temperature is inching toward its uppermost reaches, warming your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. You will get the most out of stretching at this time of day when your tissues are more pliable and less injury-prone. Plus, stretching helps relieve built-up tensions in your muscles that developed throughout the day, will feel great and may even give you a better night's rest. Just a little goes a long way. Learn a few simple stretching exercises! Check these out: Wall Push, Palm Touch, Toe Touch

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.