Should I stretch before or after I exercise?1 Should I even bother to stretch at all? These are the questions that every busy adult asks whenever he or she is planning to begin an exercise program. The correct answer to the first question is "do whatever is right for you." Some people need to lengthen their major muscle groups, such as the quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), and calves, before they run, walk, swim, and/or lift weights for exercise. For others, it's best to stretch at the end of a workout, re-lengthening the major muscle groups so they'll be ready to help you move through the rest of your day.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for you.1,2 Many people who haven’t exercised in a while (possibly not in many years) want to know whether running will help them get fit. A follow-up question for those willing to take action in the important area of exercise is how to avoid running injuries. The answers to these questions can have a long-term impact on a person’s health and well-being.3
The most important thing to do - every hour or so - is change your posture and get the body parts moving again. Stand up, take a few slow, deep breaths, and walk around for five minutes. Change your perspective. Go to the window, look around, see something other than the Power Point you've been working on for the last hour. Refresh your mind with new images, new scenery.
Now, back at your desk, you're ready to do a series of simple exercises that will get your physical and mental systems back online -
While some fitness enthusiasts relentlessly seek out the latest, trendiest exercise crazes, many others are returning to good, old-fashioned walking to help them feel great and get into shape. Whether enjoying the wonder of nature, or simply the company of a friend, walking can be a healthy, invigorating experience. And thanks to its convenience and simplicity, walking just might be right for you too, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).
Most of us would agree that we want to be as healthy as we can. Thanks to a steady barrage of commentary by talking heads on television and articles by "experts" in weekend editions of newspapers and magazines, most of us are aware that enjoying good health has a lot to do with specific habits of nutrition and exercise. The big challenge is to find enough time in the day to do all the things required to fulfill these habits. Part of this challenge is actually being willing to find the time to get all these things done in addition to everything else we have to do. Sometimes, on certain days, it may not be possible to find the time required. But good health is obtained over months and years and what's needed is a long-term plan to achieve goals of healthy nutrition and regular, vigorous exercise. A critical starting point is knowing your basic needs, that is, knowing the minimum requirements for good health.1