Stretching for Fitness
An ideal fitness routine comprises of exercises to improve cardiovascular
efficiency, create muscular strength and endurance along with improved
suppleness .Flexibility exercises are those that serve to keep the joints
flexible ,especially the vertebral column and its various sections.
Stretching independently or as a part of a fitness routine has many
beneficial effects that can be felt even during exercises themselves. In
order to understand the benefits of stretching or flexibility exercises, it
is essential to understand how the various body tissues are nourished .
What happens when you stretch?
As in case of muscles which recieve their nutrients directly via the vascular
system through rapid exchange rhythm ,there is no such active supply system
for cartilage tissues covering the ends of bones in joints .Cartilage instead
is fed by the migration of particles from the joint fluid surrounding it
,know as the synovial fluid . To be able to absorb the synovial fluid
optimally, the cartilage has recourse to an alteration of pressure and
suction forces .
It is precisely this regular rhythmic exchange optimizing the supply to the
cartilage that is achieved with the flexibility exercises . Indulging in
regular stretching exercises leads to enhanced cartilage nutrition and
loosening up of all the connective tissues . While performing stretching
exercises both outward and inward concentration is necessary .
Remember these stretching tips when doing the following exercises:
Always warm up before stretching. Warming up gives your body a chance to
deliver plenty of nutrient rich blood to areas about to be exercised, which
warms the muscles and lubricates the joints Do not bounce or bob when you
stretch -- not only is this not effective, but you could injure yourself.
Take each stretch slow to the point where tension can be felt, but not pain.
Never stretch torn or injured muscles unless you have consulted with your
doctor. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Always complete each stretch
for both sides of your body, when applicable. Always cool down and relax
after a stretching routine. By cooling down, you can help prevent injuries
and muscle soreness from your workout.
About the Author - Ms Namita Nayyar
She is the creator behind WF, has studied in-depth about nutrition, both
normal, therapeutic and exercises. President of Women Fitness (WF), she is
the author of the "on-line book" on complete fitness. She has
designed the customized strength training, cardiovascular training and
flexibility training programs and has trained many women in this field. She
is a certified Aerobics & Fitness Instructor certified from International
Fitness Association (IFA).
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