Stretching is a very important part of fitness: it decreases the likelihood of having an activity-based injury, it pumps up performance, and it actually makes you all around stronger and healthier. So what is there to know about proper stretching?

Stretching is not only important to do before you start exercising, but is equally important when you are finished exercising. After any hard workout it is important to stretch so that your body can get rid of the lactic acid from the muscles, stretching will also help to even out the workout. There are two ways to build muscle one is through contraction and the other is through abduction, or stretching as it is more commonly referred to.

The muscles are just being torn when you are exercising whether you are contracting or stretching, but when you work both ways you are able to encompass a wider area of muscle and actually elongate the muscles you have. Strength training is going to make the muscles much stronger, but stretching is going to give them shape.

Interesting how that works. Surely you have seen the bulky muscle men that make up the bodybuilding competition. These men have inflated their muscles to such a point that conventional muscle use is just not an option anymore. On the other hand, look at professional gymnasts, they have incorporated years of stretching with their strength training and they can actually perform stunts that boggle the mind.

So you have to ask yourself, do you want to be a pumped up hot air balloon or would you rather be an impressive artist who expresses their soul by way of physical activity? The obvious answer should be B, the latter option, but of course many people will not decide that path for themselves.

Start exercising for fitness and conventional use of the muscles. Stretch besides making your muscles look great is also going to cleanse the body and oxygenate muscles, and do a slew of other things that will promote holistic health.

If you are not working your body in every way you can then you may need to be shaken. There is no reason not to stretch; the slight effort required accompanies immense benefit. So make sure you go stretch before you jump on your Treadmill Sensei approved treadmill!