- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Begin Your Day with a Morning Stretch
A good way to begin your day is to do a morning stretch. Having a morning routine is a positive way to start a new day. Your body will like it as well.
Stretching does much more than just increasing your flexibility. It serves as a way to wake up and warm up your muscles. A morning stretch will help to gently ease you out of bed and into your day.
It is important to stretch properly to avoid injury and over stretching. The best way to stretch is what is called "static stretching". This form of stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest.
Static stretching is done by elongating the muscle and holding the position without any bouncing, and maintaining that hold for a minimum of thirty seconds. You can hold a stretch for two minutes, but it must be held for at least thirty seconds for the stretch to work. After holding a stretch for two minutes you should pull further into the stretch.
You should feel some discomfort while stretching. Remember that just like exercise, when you are stretching you need to be a little uncomfortable, or you will not be getting the benefits of the stretch.
Stretching improves your physical fitness, enhances your ability to learn and perform skilled movements, and increases your physical and mental ability to relax. Stretching also gives you better body awareness which helps in any athletic endeavors.
Stretching reduces injury to joints, muscles, a
nd tendons. It helps to reduce muscle soreness and muscle tension. It is a must for anyone working out. Studies also show an improvement in painful menstrual symptoms during stretching.
Another type of stretch that is practiced is called "Ballistic stretching". This is done with repetitive bouncing and is a more intense type of stretching. I do not recommend this type of stretching particularly in the morning due to the fact that the body needs to be warmed up, and the user needs to know how to correctly perform this stretch as it can cause injury.
When you wake in the morning your muscles are generally supple and loose. It is such a great way to begin your day by stimulating your muscles, creating better circulation, and allowing your body to ease itself out of bed. You will feel better right away, and ready for your day.
The only thing that would be better is to follow it up with a morning meditation! With those two things beginning your day, how could your day be anything but fabulous!