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Stretching your muscles will loosen them before you run of partake in any form of exercise or sport. When you incorporate correct stretching techniques, it helps your body become flexible, increases the mobility of your joints, improves your circulation, posture and the range of movements of your limbs and joints, prevent injuries that usually occur while weight training or performing other exercises or sports, and it relieves stress.

According to recent research, it has been proven that a flexible body is less prone to soreness in the muscles after intense exercise. The research has established that less flexible, stiff muscles have a tendency of sustaining damage in the muscle fiber. This only underlines the importance of incorporating muscle stretching exercises in your workout routine, or in your daily life. However, before you get down to actually doing the stretching exercises given below, here are a few stretching techniques you need to keep in mind.

Stretching Techniques
•    Before stretching muscles or joints, it is important to warm them up by doing some kind of light cardio exercise, like walking on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike for about 5 minutes.

•    Breathe normally while doing your stretching exercises. Never hold your breath when in the stretch.

•    Stretching muscles or joints to the point of pain should be avoided, because this can result in injuring delicate connective tissues.

•    During the stretch, it is important to keep your mind focused on the group of muscles being stretched.

•    Do your stretching exercises in gentle and slow movements. Never use forceful, bouncy moves as this will injure tissues and joints.

•    Perform your stretching exercises both before your workout, to prepare your body for the intense activity, as well as after it, as a way of cooling down. Stretching muscles after an intense workout, whether with weights or a cardio session, can be very soothing and relaxing.

•    One of the most fundamental stretching techniques is to hold your stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. While some people do recommend holding stretches for longer durations, there is no extra benefit derived from it, and it can sometimes even lead to over stretching tendons and joints.

Through stretching you will be able to maintain your exercises for a longer period. Remember to stretch when you run, especially for long distance running.

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