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DASHKATH Posts: 861
9/25/13 5:25 A

I find that if I skip the stretching afterward I pay for it all week. My hips get so tight it throws everything off. When I do get in some stretching after a run I feel good all week.

WAYCAT Posts: 1,006
9/24/13 11:55 P

For me, the thought of a lovely good stretch at the end of a long run is what motivates me to keep going and complete my miles!

Nothing beats collapsing at the end of a run in a sweaty heap on the floor and giving those tired old legs the stretch they deserve!

In the past I have skimped on stretching if I've been a bit short on time, but I wouldn't do that now - ever since I've paid more attention to my stretching and really focussed on the muscles I'm stretching, I've been far less prone to injury.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,157)
Fitness Minutes: (31,130)
Posts: 867
9/24/13 10:15 P

I always cool down for about five minutes, and then stretch. Stretching feels so good, so it's worth it to take the extra couple of minutes (and I only do three or four stretches times two legs, times 15-20 seconds each, so it really is just about two minutes).

LULUCALLY SparkPoints: (18,410)
Fitness Minutes: (17,189)
Posts: 833
9/24/13 2:02 P

Great information. I like to stretch after I run. I am going to check out the link from Coach Jen.

Thanks Jen.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 64,602
9/24/13 1:35 P

You always want your muscles to be warm when you stretch to prevent injury. So if you aren't going to do it right after your cool down, you'll want to do a warm up again before the stretch later in the day.

Coach Jen

AK_SHARPES SparkPoints: (56,229)
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Posts: 1,197
9/24/13 11:06 A

Thanks, it makes sense to do the stretching afterwards when the muscles are warmed up, I'm usually in a rush to get back to work so I think I'll have to just work them in later on in the day. emoticon

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
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9/24/13 10:40 A

Cool downs and stretching are really two different things. Cooling down lets your heart rate/breathing gently return to normal. Stretching improves/maintains flexibility and range of motion in your muscles and joints. After a run is a good time to work in stretching, because your muscles are already warm, but if you'd rather stretch at a separate time, that's fine, too.

I know stretching after cooling down is often recommended to alleviate muscle soreness the next day but, personally, I've never noticed a difference. I still do stretch after a workout, because the alternative would be to warm up and stretch later that day, but not for any post-exercise benefits, just the general benefits stretching provides.

Edited by: YOGAGEEK at: 9/24/2013 (10:42)
AK_SHARPES SparkPoints: (56,229)
Fitness Minutes: (18,895)
Posts: 1,197
9/24/13 10:23 A

Thanks Coach Jen!

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 64,602
9/24/13 10:16 A

A cool down isn't going to give you the same benefits as stretching after. Here's an article about stretching that you might find helpful:

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (179,413)
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Posts: 15,555
9/24/13 10:10 A

I never stretch after running. I aim to stretch about once a week.

AK_SHARPES SparkPoints: (56,229)
Fitness Minutes: (18,895)
Posts: 1,197
9/24/13 9:36 A

Quick question, after I run (between 1.5 to 3.5 miles) I always like to walk and cool down for at least 10 minutes, do I really need to stretch after the cool down or does the walking do the same thing? emoticon

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