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With many people short of time or simply eager to get on with the fun part of exercising, the importance of stretching before and after a workout is all too often overlooked. Again and again, it is drilled into us the importance of stretching correctly before and after physical training, yet still many of us suffer unnecessary injuries as a result of putting it off.
Stretching the muscles encourages blood flow around the body, which in turn provides them with a greater oxygen supply before a workout. Temporarily, it will limber up the muscles and tendons helping to prevent pulled muscles; in the long term however, elongating the muscles will improve elasticity, enhance flexibility, tone the muscles and reduce the risk of serious injuries. There are also a number of other health benefits that come from adding stretching to your daily routine. It can expand the range of movements of the joints, increase muscular coordination and help fight stress.
Stretching is a key component of the fitness classes you can take part in on one of our fitness holidays. It is vital that you come home from your holiday feeling fresh and energised rather than suffering from strained muscles. Therefore we wanted to share with you some simple stretching exercises to target the main muscle groups. You can also try to incorporate these into your everyday life as well as your weekly workouts:
Many people will miss out stretching after a workout. We warm up, we train hard, but when it comes to stretching afterwards we usually forget and the consequences can be significant. Making sure you remember to practise these stretching techniques regularly will enable you to see a performance increase and ensure you don't suffer a perfectly preventable injury. It is also important to remember that there are other stretches to do as well as these; so before you exercise, think about what muscles groups you are about to use.
Yoga and Pilates are prime examples of how stretching can benefit your health. See the benefits for yourself by going on a yoga holiday that will help you to find your physical, mental and spiritual balance. Yoga Synergy at Kamalaya, Thailand's award-winning sanctuary and holistic spa, offers private one-to-one yoga sessions with tailored programmes suitable for both beginners and experienced yogis, and a variety of stretching classes to improve your flexibility. Alternatively, Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos has similar programmes offering daily classes of yoga and Pilates. The experience of a yoga class on an exotic beach is guaranteed to leave you feeling healthy and in good form. Or perhaps a trip to the Como Shambhala Estate in Bali would suit you, with daily yoga and Pilates classes and outdoor fitness classes in the Jungle Gym. For a holiday closer to home, why not try a Health Revival wellness break at one of Europe's leading fitness spas, Grand Park, in Austria. You can choose from activities ranging from yoga to Pilates, to hiking and cycling, giving you endless opportunities to stretch those muscles!