Don't Forget To Stretch
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What if I can't stretch as far today as I did yesterday?
Stretching is an important part of any women's exercise plan. Although the jury is still out as to the role of stretching in injury prevention, gentle stretching makes you feel better and many people find that stretching anytime: before, during or after a workout, or even while you're at home watching TV, helps them feel stronger and more relaxed during workouts.
Some principles of stretching:
- Stretching is not a competitive sport. Focus on relaxing the tight muscles when you stretch, and don't worry if you aren't as flexible as the person next to you in a yoga class.
- Your body is different every day. Some days you are just a little stiffer; maybe you had a hard workout the day before, maybe you have been traveling and spending a lot of time sitting on planes or in cars.
- Overall, your flexibility will improve with regular stretching, but focus on how your body feels each day, and don't stretch to the point of pain.
- Breathe. It's tempting to hold your breath while stretching, but you need to keep breathing to release the tension in your muscles. Breath smoothly and evenly while holding a stretch.