Stretch it Out

My sunrise yoga matIt’s the second week of my 5K training and I’m desperately trying to stay motivated. This past weekend I decided it was best for my body to relax, but now that it’s Monday, I knew that I had to get back on my game. It was a rainy, miserable day here in New Jersey and all I wanted to do was curl up with a book and a steaming hot cup of tea, but I wouldn’t let myself give up that easily. Even after all of my creative excuses and inconveniences, I made it.

After any workout, I’d really like to stress the importance of stretching. Stretching can relieve any discomfort and soreness, which will help make your workouts more productive. There are so many benefits. Stretching can improve your posture, performance, flexibility, and prevent injury.

When I’m done running on the treadmill and cool down, I basically collapse on the mat in the corner of the gym and stretch. There is nothing more rewarding than this moment to me. Downward facing dog or “adho mukha shvanasana” is one of my favorite stretches for my back and hamstrings. I really feel my whole body lengthening and toning when I do this stretch. Pigeon pose is also a great stretch for hips and hamstrings. I could write a whole blog on yoga poses and the benefits but I’ll save that for another time.

Vrksasana - tree pose Back to running:

One of my favorite fitness bloggers, Nicole from Pumps & Iron posted her stretching routine for long runs. She says,

“Stretching after your workout is more important than stretching before your workout”

I agree with this. While I do think it is important to warm up and make sure your muscles are warm, I do the majority of my static stretching after a workout to reap the benefits. The stretches below are great for short or long runs:

warm-up-cool-down-routine-running
Pumps & Iron Stretching Routine

What’s your favorite way to cool down after a tough workout? Do you have any go-to stretches that relieve any muscle soreness or pain? I’d love to read your comments/feedback!

Love Vivi

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