To Stretch or not to stretch?

Hi Everyone:

So, today I did my workout in the morning. My 5K training plan called for JUST walking, no running; and I’m sticking to the plan.  I woke up a little stiff today (that’s happens at our age!), so I did some light stretching before my walk. Afterwards, I did a lot more stretching.

I’ve been reading up on stretching and what the “experts” think is the right way to work it into your fitness plan. The current school of thought seems to be that you don’t need to stretch before a workout, but it’s very beneficial to do so AFTER your workout. When exercising, your muscles get tight, then shorten and get sort of bunched up. So, now that you’re nice and warm and limber, it’s a great time to lengthen them back out via stretching. You can Google for stretches that go well with whatever exercise you just did.  I’m running/walking, so I stretched my calves, achilles (back of heel), hamstrings, quads (front of thighs) and my back. There are a lot of great stretches, so search for some online and pick the ones that work for you. Remember NEVER EVER stretch to the point of pain. It should be a gentle pull. You CAN rip something by stretching too far (trust me, I learned that the hard way many years ago). ALSO – ALWAYS ALWAYS WARM UP BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT!!!

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