Good article. I used to use stretches in rapid repetition more as a warm up. But with what I've been reading recently, these are only to be used afterward. Guess I've been doing it all wrong for years. At 52, I only put on the weight in the last three years.
I am 62 and work out at least an hour and a half 90% of the month, with a warm up at the start and 10 minute total body stretch routine at the end. It helps with my balance, flexibility.
4/10/2013 9:32:05 AM
Good info. I'm amazed at the number of exercise videos out there that seem to skip the stretching and warm-up at the beginning or the end. I've also run across a few strength training videos that have you racing through the moves in a way that I am sure is not healthy or safe for the joints. Buyer beware. As someone who has to do low impact and be careful with my joints, I have learned the hard way to trust my gut when trying new videos. There is a BIG difference between being challenged (in a healthy way) and being rushed. Trust your instincts about what feels right!
In my younger days, I was very stretched out and flexible, but many years and 75 pounds later, not so much. HOWEVER, I started a new exercise activity and began stretching again. I am very pleased to report that you can regain much of your original flexibility!
I may not be at 100% but I am definitely seing major improvements and believe that if I could discipline myself to put in the time, I could recapture nearly 95% of my flexibility capacity. Even now, in my early 50's.
I always thought starting a workout slowly would incorporate the warmup at the same time without the stretching. I'm afraid I dislike stretching. Don't know why. Can't get into it. That's why I don't like yoga.
3/16/2013 11:00:30 AM
Great reminders.....esp as we age, w/o scar tissue on torn muscles!!!
You are so right, we all skip a warm-up, cool-down and even stretching. It is funny because when I teach a class all the above are very large components of the workouot; however if I am working out alone and pressed for time I will skip one of them!! I guess I should practice what I preach!!
I play tennis 60 or 90 min sessions7 times each week on average, just a little warm up hitting before jumping right in. No cool down or streching for me... thats probably why i am almost stiff a board except when I am playing... (cant even come close to toucing me toes)..., but have remained pretty much free of injury or any discomfort since I started playing several years ago.
The first blunder was a classic "me" move for longer than I care to remember (at least the no warm up and no stretching part was). I always wanted to jump right in and really rushed over the stretching. I started taking dance classes again last year, and over the summer in my Jazz and Hip Hop classes, my instructor had us stretching for 15 solid minutes and it was WONDERFUL and that didn't even include the warm up. I have enjoyed it so much - it has felt so good+, I never leave off the warm up or the stretching and in some of my aerobics classes I even stay a little longer at the end to stretch more because it feels like they're skimping now that I'm used to so long a stretch!
I agree that this article is one that you should read when you begin Sparks. It helps understand the impotance of warming up because i know i was skipping it intially. Also helps you put your plateau in prespective and once again to realize this is a slow and steady change, not just about the weight loss. Thank you!
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