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Warm-Up, Cool-Down, or Both?
|Debate raged for the last 20 years over whether people should stretch before or after exercising. That question has been pretty well answered in the last few years - stretching is best done when the muscles are warm. By stretching after you've exercised, as a cool-down technique - you're able to achieve and retain your maximum stretchability.
Of course, some people may want to stretch first as well. If you're muscles are usually tight, stretching first does help prepare you for exercise. Just be sure to stretch slowly and carefully, paying full attention to what you're doing. Stretching is best approached as a Zen-type activity. See the muscle lengthening in your mind.
So if you're stretching as a cool-down, what do you do to warm-up? Light jogging is a good warm-up, if that's possible for you. Jumping jacks, walking lunges, knee hugs, arm rotations, ankle rotations, and carioca moves are excellent warm-up activities, preparing your body for the physical work of sports and exercise.
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I was in a motor vehicle collision last year which really scared me. After 40 stitches in the head, a hospital stay, some drugs and continuous neck pain, I finally decided to see a Chiropractor. I have NEVER looked back. Not only did Dr. Bello work with my lawyer to submit documentation of my injuries for compensation, I have never received the type of one-on-one care I have from another healthcare professional. I now continue to see Dr. Bello twice a month for maintenance and slowly but surely I am getting back on my feet.