Friday, April 22, 2011

A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.

Stretching is a form of exercise in which a specific muscle or group of muscles are lengthened to increase the muscles elasticity, and help tone the muscle.  Stretching increases muscle control, flexibility and range of motion, as well as alleviating cramping.
Stretching can prevent injury and should be done before and after any aerobic exercise. This is known as warming up and cooling down periods.
Warming up allows your body and muscles to prepare for any activity, this helps keep your muscles supple, increases range of motion of the joints, enhances flexibility, improves coordination, increases body temperature and heart rate, which then increases blood flow to muscles which prevents cramping and injuries.
Cooling down after activity allows your muscles to ease off the tension from the exercise and gives your heart rate time to return to normal.
The correct way to stretch is slow and relaxed. Here are some tips:
  • Whilst stretching take deep breathes in, through your nose and out your mouth.
  • Holding your breath while stretching will only cause the muscle to spasm further.
  • Bouncing can actually cause you to pull the muscle that’s being stretched, so DO NOT BOUNCE when stretching EVER!
  • The stretch should go until there is mild tension, pain should never occur, if there is pain STOP!
  • Overstretching can cause damage so ensure that the muscle is in the correct position under mild tension.
Stretching is an instinctual behaviour, we automatically stretch after sleeping, or being in the same position for a long time, if we look at the animal kingdom all animals stretch upon waking.
Prevent injury during training by stretching; it can only improve your skills.

Contact details:
Dr Angela Pasteilledes
96 Brand Road (inside TAP Kruger)
Tel: 031 201 1442
Cell: 083 233 1187
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