Before any type of fitness training, it is important to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. Stretching increases the ability of muscles to flex and contract and is just as useful when you have finished exercising. By allowing this five minute period at the end of an exercise routine will increase muscle flexibility, well beyond the physical activity period and lessen the chance of injury after the workout.
For most warm-ups it is quite acceptable to hold a stretching position for twenty seconds but to really extend the muscles groups and joint flexibility, this should be lengthened to one minute. It is not advisable to stretch and then relax straight away but to return to the original position slowly. By hold the stretched position for several seconds, and then slowly relaxing means you can do this exercise repeatedly, but bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position so make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups.
Injuries to the neck can be common because most people neglect warming it up; the easiest way to carry this out is by using the palm of your hand, alternate placing pressure from on the forehead to the back of the head and then the sides. By performing stretching exercises, whether at the gym or not will increase both your flexibility but help increase your strength and improve your breathing and fitness training as well. Never try to compete with the abilities of others as this is a sure way to injure yourself; even if not at the time, you will almost certainly feel it later when you body has cooled down. Remember there will be days when your body will perform better than others; this is quite normal and should be expected as even top sportsmen have good and bad days so why should you be any different.
Every athlete knows that muscles need to heal and grow from physical exertion so give yourself a day off between fitness training and exercising; your body will appreciate it. The best exercises you can perform at the gym are those that will help your heart, lungs and stamina; called aerobic exercises they can include a whole host of regimes including running, stepping, rowing plus many more, all of which need large amounts of oxygen in the blood.
Many people find music good for exercise, especially something with a regular beat that can be worked to; of course mp3 players are ideal for this. Even if you do not intend to workout, stretching is an excellent way for the body to relax, especially if you find yourself in one position for a good deal of the day. Stretching is good for you even if you are not performing it before exercise and many people use it for relaxation purposes prior to sleep.
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