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Saturday Morning Drill: Post-Workout Stretching

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re stressing the importance of stretching. While it’s important to warm up before a workout, many people don’t realize you should actually save the stretching for after the workout.

Stretching is not recommended before a workout because your muscles are prone to injury when they’re cold, which temporarily slows muscle activation. In order to warm up the muscles sufficiently perform at least three to five minutes of cardiovascular activity such as running in place or jumping jacks. Then, stretch after your workout is complete.

Even for those who take the time to stretch after a workout, it’s not uncommon to rush through the movements and thus forgo reaping the full benefits of the stretch. But proper stretching should be completed after a workout because muscles tighten and shorten during exercise. By stretching them afterwards you help the muscle both length and restore. Other stretching benefits include increased flexibility, improved circulation, improved balance and coordination, decreased lower back pain and increased energy levels.

A proper stretch should be completed one to three times, holding each stretch for 10-60 seconds. Remember, you should be in control of the stretch by focusing on performing it slowly. Listen to your body – each movement should be held at a mild tension but not to the point of pain.

To get your heart rate up, try our fall Pumpkin Workout. Start by warming up with some cardio, performing the strength training exercises, and end with these beneficial stretches. 

Also Read:

7 Tips for Eliminating Muscle Soreness

Sneaky Ways to Squeeze in Stretching

Stretching is Essential for Runners



3 Core Exercises to Increase Stamina and Prevent Injury This Winter

Fall is a busy and active time of year. While many have been hectically scurrying to settle in to a new school year, others have been expending enormous amounts of energy winterizing the yard, gathering wood for the stove, and unpacking the shovels in anticipation of calorie-burning snow removal. These fall and winter activities take strength and stamina to endure.

A strong core is paramount to having increased energy and to prevent back pain or injury. The following are a few basic core exercises that will help you stack that last load of wood and leave you with enough energy to shovel yours and your neighbor’s drive.

Windmills

No, this is not the same thing as the classic 1950’s physical education exercise that wreaked havoc on people’s lower backs. It is however, a more modern and adaptable version of it that is much more effective, plus a lot safer.
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GST Workouts Blend Yoga, Pilates, and Capoeira to Help Bodies Heal and Rehabilitate after Injuries

Let’s face it, sometimes physical activity can be painful. People can throw their back out from lifting weights or tear their ACL while playing basketball. One mishap in the gym, court, or playing field can leave your body damaged. And, getting your body back to its original state will take lots of physical therapy. Yet, after physical therapy your body might not be back at its prime as it was before you got hurt.

Grace SomatomorphicTM Technique, known simply as GST, is a workout that reshapes and heals your body for a better, stronger, and healthier you. After years of dancing took a toll on Anna Rahe and left her in pain, she was in need of therapeutic fitness but couldn’t find anything. So she created GST with her knowledge of fitness and its scientifically-supported research.

Anna wanted to teach others GST because it helps the body become pain free while toning to be more beautiful. “GST is also more than just a workout- it is a way of life. In addition, the process of GST directly engages the brain’s powerful desire and inclination for neuro-plasticity- to grow and change.”

GST’s philosophy is motivation, exploration, identification, excavation, assimilation, restoration, and transformation.

Motivation: Why do you want to better your health?

Exploration: Search for answers and try new things.

Identification: Understand what is wrong with your body and health.

Excavation: Dig and find new information that will help your restoration and transformation.

Restoration: Restore your body to its original health.

Transformation: Take your body’s health to the next level and transform it to a healthier better you.

There are four types of programs GST offers, each designed to heal and restore the body: Somatiques, Athletic, Body Shaping, and Pregnancy. The classes differ by the types of techniques that are used to heal and restore the body.
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We Love Gold Bond Friction Defense

One of the most irritating issues of running can be what happens when those clothes swish back and forth for hours on end. Of course, I’m talking about chafing. A painful and irritating side effect that many runners deal with. Thankfully, there are options for managing this nonsense, really effective options.

A tried and mostly-true method has always been to use petroleum jelly on your trouble spots. It tends to keep irritation away for many miles. Only slight down side? It’s messy, greasy and oily, and may even stain your clothes. One of the more recent products to help with chafing is Gold Bond’s Friction Defense. It looks like a stick of deodorant, but it’s not meant to keep you smelling fresh. Instead it will keep skin free from painful chafing.

Whether men need to avoid bloody nipples, or ladies need to get relief from a snug jog bra, the key to fighting chafing is to reduce the friction. Several of us put the Gold Bond to the test this summer to see if it stacks up against other similar products.
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Fit in 5: Best Exercises for a Lower Body Injury

By Pamela Hernandez

Whether it comes from a workout or simply stepping off the curb the wrong way, a lower body injury is bound to occur at some point or another in our athletic lives. Injury, of any kind, can be extremely frustrating. Some injuries can be mild, like an ankle sprain, and simply require a few days of rest. Others, like a broken foot, can mean weeks off your feet.

Our bodies feel the effects of not working out very quickly. While your body does need extra nutrients to heal, it’s often not as many as you burn with your workout. Energy goes down and we can feel more “jiggly” and less strong. When we’re sidelined we can also feel the effects mentally, not only losing the post workout endorphin rush but also a part of our routine and identity.

The good news is, unless specifically forbidden by your doctor, there are exercises and activities you can do to keep working without aggravating conditions such as plantar fasciitis or a sprained ankle. The following exercises are my top picks for those fighting a lower body injury. Just remember, when healing especially, rest is important, too. Take your intensity and frequency down a bit until your body is ready to take on more.
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