To avoid muscle and joint injury, it is important to carry out warm up and stretching exercises prior to any fitness training workout. However, there are a number of preventative practices that you should carry out as a matter of necessity if you are going to pursue any type of physical activity. Many people consider it unnecessary but people who do not perform stretching movements before and after a workout are more likely to hurt themselves. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries, but only a few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.For instance, stretching movements for a warm up only have to last a third of the time that the same movements do when you are doing a cool-down, so they need to last for about a minute. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position; and, do it repeatedly which is more appropriately termed bouncing while in a position. The way to do this is to maintain the position of a few seconds and then return because it is possible to either strain or pull muscles or joints if you return to the starting position too quickly. As warm up exercises can be measured in terms of difficulty, it is always a good idea to commence with the easiest first and make sure all the muscle are stretched before moving on to any training.Injuries to the neck can be common because most people neglect warming it up; the easiest way to carry this out is by using the palm of your hand, alternate placing pressure from on the forehead to the back of the head and then the sides. By performing stretching exercises, whether at the gym or not will increase both your flexibility but help increase your strength and improve your breathing and fitness training as well. It is never worth attempting certain moves because others can manage them; wait until you are ready, remember not to over-stretch your self and you will gain more from it. Remember there will be days when your body will perform better than others; this is quite normal and should be expected as even top sportsmen have good and bad days so why should you be any different.Fitness training everyday can be punishing for the muscles and does not allow them to heal and grow so try to leave a day between workouts. Aerobic exercises are very good for the health of your heart and improve lung capacity and lower the heart rate; look to carry out rowing, running, skipping for example before you start attacking the weight machines. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity and the latest lightweight portable mp3 players are ideal for this. Even though every mp3 player or instance comes complete with a set of headphones, it will be a worthwhile investment buying a decent pair as there is less likelihood of any sound leakage; other people just might not want to listen to your choice in music! Stretching your body is a form of exercise in itself and a pleasant way to relax at the end of a hard day so it is worth doing regularly even if you do not want to workout.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Regine Hehn is a specialist in Muscle Gaining. More information on Fit Over 40, visit www.recil.com/bevopub.php.