Fitness Question & Answer
We feature new questions and answers to assist women who are trying to improve their fitness.

(Ideas and contributions for additional fitness and health topics are welcomed. Because of the large volume of mail we recieve, we cannot personally answer all requests for information. However, if you'd like to recommend topics for us to cover, please send us an e-mail).

Question: I train three days a week and rarely begin my workout with any kind of stretching. People have told me I should always begin my workout with stretching, but I have never had a problem, so why now? How important is stretching before training?

You bring up an important topic that is often overlooked, even by professional body builders. Stretching is a very important piece of any workout and should not only be done before a workout session, but in between sets and after as well.

Stretching prior to getting started warms up the muscles before they are exposed to hard work and strain. It protects and prevents injury; your muscles will be more pliable and able to withstand the heavier strain and deeper stretch a training session will place on them after stretching. Stretching increases your range of motion, making it easier to move thus avoiding injury.

Stretching in between workout sets increases blood flow to the area being worked, removing toxins and bringing in nutrients that will help repair muscle fibers. Stretching between sets will help to maximize your performance in weight lifting.

After workout stretching is important for decreasing muscle soreness and improving flexibility. Stretching increases your range of motion by stretching out tired and tight muscles, making it easier to move.

Question: I am just starting out with training and want to get into shape. Should I train every day to expedite my results, or is it better to train every other day?

You pose a question that has varying answers, depending on your goals and current level of fitness. A combination of frequency, intensity, and duration are what make training effective and produce good results. However, the level of each of these is an individual issue, which differs from person to person.

I would suggest you speak with a representative or personal trainer associated with your health facility who can help to design a workout program to include the proper amount of physical activity, helping you attain maximum benefit while posing the lowest amount of risk to your health.




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