So today I want to focus on the importance of stretching. I used to hate stretching. It seemed like a waste of time at the beginning and a bigger waste of time and extra effort at the end when I'm tired from my workout and I'm ready to collapse. Now...I still don't stretch at the beginning. I do a little warm up walk and that's the extent. But I always, ALWAYS stretch after my workout...especially my running. If you are considering a C25k program or starting to jog or whatever...I cannot stress enough how much stretching can help you. I've been "running" (I'm so slow...seriously..it almost shouldn't count) for 2 years now. And I have NEVER been sore the day after a workout. ***Side Note: There is ONE exception to this and that was my 2 5k's in one day but that was really just overdoing it with little training at all.*** Those of you who do yoga probably agree with me that stretching is all kinds of wonderful. But do you stretch outside of that? You should and here's why:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased range of movement in the joints
- Enhanced muscular coordination
- Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body
- Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
All I can say is that stretching after a run seems to "reset" my legs, thighs and back for the next day and helps prevent injuries. What more could you ask for from a 5 minute relaxed exercise at the end of a run?
NSV: So before I left for vacay, I broke down and bought a pair of running capris...the spandexy kind. Now I am a firm believer that there are people in this world that should never wear spandex. I also believe that I am one of them. However, I was having an issue while running and cycling where some extra skin and flab were flapping around like crazy. You could almost hear it flapping up against the rest of my body and it was making exercise a little uncomfortable, not to mention noisy. Yesterday, I wore them to the gym for the first time for everyone to see me in my compression garment wonder! And...I wasn't that mortified. That's a huge NSV for me. I figured since I showed them...I might as well show you. Please forgive the weird lighting and hair...was just after my workout and my 7 year old was the photographer. Be kind.