Stretching is very important and for several years there have been so many debates on when is a good time to stretch. Countless studies and research but different people follow different stretching “rules”. To be clear, you should be stretching all your muscle groups on a daily basis.
I stretch at least three times per day. Since I have been training for the Nike Women’s Toronto 15k, I’ve been running pretty much everyday. I know some people say you shouldn’t run everyday but after reading this book on Kenyan running I have changed the way I train. But anyways, I stretch a little bit before I run. I do not stretch too much before a run because I try not to stretch while my muscles are cold, so to speak. I read a couple of articles saying that you should stretch after your body is a little warmed up. When I finish a run, that’s when I go full out with all my stretching. This method works for me and all the people I run with so it could work for you as well.
Why is stretching important you ask? Muscles, like other tissues in our body, need to be well circulated and healthy. Stretching helps increase the circulation of blood in your muscles, increases your range of motion, reduces muscle tension, and reduces the risk of injuries.
In conclusion, MAKE SURE YOU ARE STRETCHING EVERYDAY. Know your body and know its limits. Make sure after you work out, you get in a good stretch. Not stretching can harm your body while stretching can be extremely helpful. Keep that in mind!
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Photos Taken by Ajani.