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
Never stretch torn or injured muscles unless you have consulted with
Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
Always complete each stretch for both sides of your body, when
Always cool down and relax after a stretching routine. By cooling down,
you can help prevent injuries and muscle soreness from your workout.