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Monday, May 21, 2007

Seven Secrets for Stretching Success

1. Timing is important. No—it’s very important! Stretch slowly and deliberately. And do it somewhere quiet, where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Also, indoor stretching is best done on a carpeted surface.

2. Stretching is not a fashion show. Special workout outfits are trendy, but you can stretch effectively in any loose, comfortable clothing. And take our low couture approach even deeper by removing belts and jewelry before you begin.

3. “Do I hear my body talking?” Every day your body is different. You may not be able to do today what you did yesterday, or you may be able to do even more. Don’t push your body too hard—do only what you can do comfortably. Your body will tell you when you’ve had enough. Listen and heed.

4. Variety is the spice of stretching, too. From time to time, change your stretching routine. You’ll stay more interested that way, and you’ll find you’re stretching different muscles if you vary the stretches and their order occasionally.

5. No waiting to exhale. Relaxing and breathing are integral factors in any effective stretch. Inhale as you start a stretch and exhale as you relax. And always do it slowly for maximum benefit.

6. Find some tight places to get into. Before you stretch, take a quick physical inventory and identify any muscles or body areas that may seem tight. Stretch those areas most often and always stretch them first.

7. Compare yourself… but only to yourself. You’re stretching for your own health benefits, no one else’s. Don’t compare what you do with anyone else’s stretching routine. Like all exercise and other physical activities, stretching should help relax you and not be a source of extra pressure.

“Wait! You’re not done yet!” Besides helping you warm up beforehand, stretches will also help you cool down after physical activity. Including post-activity stretching as a regular part of your program will help you recover faster, minimize muscle aches and keep you feeling relaxed longer.

Failure to stretch is not an option. One of the nicest things about stretching is that you don’t have to go to a park or gym to do it. But regardless of what exercises/ activities you plan to do, you need to understand that pre-activity stretching should not be seen as an option or done only when you have extra time. Stretching is a requirement, and you should be very careful to make sure to begin any activity with a few relaxing minutes of stretching.

Whether your workout means testing your physical limits in the gym or a brisk walk around the block, you want to get maximum benefits from your activities and still be able to bounce back quickly. That's why Mannatech has developed our dynamic Performance Nutrition products. While hundreds of products are advertised to enhance performance, the key word for Mannatech is always nutrition. Real nutrition puts Mannatech Performance Nutrition Products in a class by themselves.

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