Written by Dr.Titiksha Farooqui
This is one question which is very popular these days in the Running Community. Plenty of great athletes can’t touch their toes—is flexibility really that important for a distance runner?
Runners who stretch before a run have less chances of injury, as compared to those who don’t stretch.
Flexibility is an important fitness component that is often overlooked, especially by runners. Stretching regularly will help maintain flexibility and range of motion.
Focus on keeping the major muscles of the lower body flexible, like calves,hamstrings, and quadriceps.
- Foam rollers are often used to ease post exercise tightness.
What's that back-and-forth doing for you?
Everything a good warm up should: loosening up your muscles,elevating your breathing and heart rate, and psychologically preparing you to sweat.
· Pre-run rolling also may relieve excess tension wrought by your previous miles.
· Spongy white rollers wear out more quickly than denser, dark-coloured models.
Dos & Don’ts of Stretching:
· Stretching after the physical activity is really helpful.
· Stretching should always be started with mild stretches.
· Whenever there is an underlying condition like Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, stretching should be done under supervision.
· Hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds. Let the muscle lengthen slowly—don’t force it. Do two to four repetitions of each stretch.
· Water intake should be increased.Insufficient water intake would reduce your muscle performance and will make them fatigue easily.
· Never stretch an injured area.
· Never over do a stretch - It’s very important to understand the difference between a stretch & pain.
· Only stretching should not be done as a warm up. It should be included along with cardio so that chances of muscle injury will be reduced.
· Painful injuries can happen when you stretch cold muscles.
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