You may have noticed that almost all workout routines – including RydeOn!'s indoor cycling classes – begin with stretching, end with stretching, or both. You may also know why it's important to stretch as part of a workout; stretching can help prevent injuries and helps us avoid the inflexibility that can be caused when we move any muscle group repeatedly.
One thing you might not know, though, is that it's a good idea to stretch even on those days you're not doing indoor cycling or other exercising.
Why? Stretching helps us re-shape our bodies into healthier postures after hours sitting in front of a desk or television. Anyone who has taken a long trip knows how wonderful it feels to get out of the car, or get up from the seat of the train or plan, and move around a bit. That's because stretching is also good for our circulation.
We can do a quick stretch anywhere, from the shower to a quick break at our desks at work. Even taking a few moments to twist in our chairs or flex our feet under our desks can help.
But what are the best stretches, and what are good tips to use while stretching to help avoid injury? For the first answer I've turned to this article on Military.com for a clear, complete guide to stretches that hit all of the major muscle groups. (If your work means using your hands a lot – or even if it doesn't – this guide from LIVESTRONG.com will help keep your hands, wrists, and fingers flexible.)
It's also important to remember that, just as we stretch to avoid injury, it's important to stretch correctly or we'll hurt ourselves despite our best intentions. Good tips to remember include never bouncing during a stretch and never stretching to the point of “bad pain” – the kind of tearing or burning feeling that means an injury has either occurred or is just around the corner. If you're just starting a stretching routine, begin by holding each posture for about ten seconds and work your way up to holding it for thirty.
Don't wait for your next indoor cycling class – enjoy a few stretches today and try to make stretching part of your regular daily routine. Your body will thank you!
PEAC Ryde-A-Thon Update
The 2nd Annual PEAC Ryde-A-Thon is coming up fast! On Saturday, Feb. 9, participants from all over the Saline and Ann Arbor areas will be coming to RydeOn! and taking part in fifty-minute sessions of indoor cycling to benefit Programs to Educate All Cyclist (PEAC), a local program that helps adults and children with disabilities enjoy the benefits of cycling. In other words, we'll be peddling so that others can, too!
Last year, RydeOn!'s fantastic clients and neighborhood sponsors helped raise more than $4,000 for this fantastic cause – with your help, this year's total can be even better! Just click here to be taken to our registration page. The cost is $25 per person, and we encourage you to ask your friends, family, and co-workers to sponsor your Ryde and help us raise even more.