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Clear Water Outdoor Get Fit, Stay Fit: The Importance Of Stretching
 Posted By: Clear Water Outdoor Store
 Posted On: Aug 31 2011 10:39AM

Stretching exercises can improve your overall workout and endurance.
 

When you're heading outside for a day of hiking or an afternoon spent paddling on the water, it is easy to become swept up in the excitement of the activity and forget simple things that are necessary for successful exercise--sunscreen, a water bottle, proper fitness socks, etc.
 
If you've ever headed out for a day-long nature trip and managed to forget one of these essential items, you may understand just how important these elements are to a happy day spent exercising outdoors. However, perhaps one of the most important elements of a successful workout is often the one that is overlooked the most--proper stretching.
 
While many people believe that starting out slow and building up to full endurance is the same thing as stretching before an activity, they do not understand just how important stretching is to any kind of physical exercise--Not just for preventing injury and staying safe, but also for the overall performance of your workout.
 
Stretching both before and after an activity can not only help to increase the positive results of your workout, but it can also decrease muscle soreness afterward and improve your overall quality of life. If these aren't reason enough to start including stretching into your workout routine, here are just a few more examples of how stretching regularly can improve your overall health and stamina:
 
Increases Flexibility
As we get older and our bodies begin to age, our flexibility decreases and our bodies become more stiff and less mobile. However, stretching is a great way to improve flexibility and increase the overall range of motion in your joints. This is extremely vital to anyone who exercises or participates in physically demanding activities because flexibility is an important component of fitness. Not only can it help to increase a person's overall coordination and movement, but it can also increase muscular strength and endurance.
 
Prevents Injury
When you forget to stretch before and after a workout, you have a higher chance of pulling or damaging a muscle. This is because you jumped right into a strenuous activity without properly warming yourself up. Even as little as five minutes of simple stretching can go a long way towards preventing injury and staying safe during physical activity.
 
Increases Blood Flow
The main reason that stretching is so important both before and after exercising is because it helps to increase blood flow to your muscles. This not only helps to increase mobility and flexibility, but it also prevents your muscles from becoming sore or tiring out quickly. Stretching after a workout can also aid in muscle recovery, alleviating the muscle stiffness and pain that often follows a rigorous workout.
 
One of the best parts about stretching is that is can be done nearly anywhere and everywhere, and there are many different ways in which you can warm yourself up. Whether you chose to walk, jog, stretch or do yoga, be sure that you are stretching each of the major muscle groups and focusing on each body part for at least 20 seconds or longer. Also, be sure that you do not bounce or pump your stretches, as this can lead to injury and small tears within your muscles.
 
Stretching offers the body many different benefits, including flexibility, decreased risk of injury and improvement to your overall workout. Therefore, be sure that you include stretching as part of your regular exercise routine. In no time, you will see the results and will feel the difference in your outdoor activities.
 
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