Stretching is a great way to improve range of motion (ROM) by lengthening shortened muscles. It may also help prevent injuries and decrease muscle soreness when done before or after exercise.
- Always complete a warm-up session prior to stretching.
- Stretch until a mild tension is felt, then hold.
- All stretches should be held for 30-60 seconds
- Avoid stretches to the point where numbness or a tingling sensation is felt
- Focus on the stretch and avoid any distractions.
- Try to relax the muscles throughout the passive movement of the stretch, as this will help to alleviate any unnecessary tension within the muscle.
- Do not hold your breath, breathing freely helps you relax and get the best stretch.
Sore Muscle Relief
Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscle pain and tenderness that typically develops several hours post-exercise, especially if the exercise is unfamiliar. DOMS is usually a symptom of exercise–induced muscle damage. The damage to the muscle fiber (muscle cell) causes the release of muscle cell content. The debris caused by this breakdown attracts inflammatory cells, which release chemicals that irritate nerve fibers and cause pain.
- Warm Up - A warm up before your workout is essential to avoid muscle soreness and avoid injury. It starts the circulation to the muscles, warms the muscles and tendons, and prepares them for stretching.
- Pre-Workout Stretch - After your warm up your muscles need to be stretched.
- Post-Workout Stretch - Stretching after your workout is important to avoid muscle soreness the next day. After your walk, jog or workout, make sure you stretch before your muscles cool down. They will be warm and elastic so they will stretch well.
- Massage - Swedish massage increases circulation by mechanical force which helps to ease muscle soreness. Deep Tissue massage is not indicated during your exercise recovery period (24-48 hours).
- Hot Bath/Sauna - Heat causes blood vessels to dilate which increases circulation and provides a soothing effect.
- Low-Intensity Exercise - A slow walk or gentle movement helps reduce the muscle soreness by increasing the blood flow.