Exercise is a key part of being healthier and happier for longer but before and after any exercise, it’s important to prepare our bodies for the challenge to come.
We are looking forward to the UKFast City of Salford 10k and we want to ensure your race ready. So we’ve teamed up with ABL Health to give you advice on how to prepare your body pre race and how to recover post race.
Here are a few hints and tips about warm up and cool down stretches:
The importance of stretches
Stretches keep muscles and joints both strong as well as flexible.
Before a workout, stretches are used to prepare various parts of the body for the strenuous activity ahead. They ease tension and allow the body to move at its fullest potential, as well as minimising risk of injury.
Post-workout stretches are used in exactly the same way but are designed to ease the body back into its usual rhythm and to help ease out any tension that has built up during the workout.
Different types of stretches
There are many different stretching techniques to try and it’s best to start simple and work your way up to more advanced stretches.
Breathing during stretches
Stretches are designed to ease muscle tension but if the body isn’t taking in the right amount of oxygen, you might struggle to feel the full effect.
Always remember: Breathe in before the stretch, exhale as you execute the stretch.
Stretches for relaxation
When it comes to the cool-down period, stretching can not only offer a level of physical relief but psychological relief too.
Stretching is a fantastic way to relax and release the build-up of any tension you have.
A good example of a cool-down stretch is to clasp your hands behind your back and raise them as high as you can, without causing yourself strain, before lowering and releasing your breath five seconds later.
This loosens up the shoulder blades and encourages flexibility in the body.
ABL Health runs a variety of free healthy lifestyle programmes where you can learn more about improving your health and wellbeing.
This year, ABL Health has partnered with Sports Tours International as the Community Health and Wellbeing Partner! You can get £5 off your entry fee to our 10k race events using the code ABL5.