Time. We’re all short on it. It seems like we always need more time. We’re constantly in a hurry running from one place to the next, and trying to fit in exercise with already jam packed schedules can be quite the feat. It may seem mundane to add in stretching to our oh-so-precious workout time. Is it really necessary?
Yes it is. Don’t skip it. Your body needs it. And is it better to stretch before or after the workout?
Actually, both. But in different ways.
Static stretching is when you hold a stretch for a length of time. Dynamic stretches are active movements of muscle that bring forth a stretch but are not held in the end position. Static stretching is not really recommended before exercise, because it has been shown to reduce performance, especially in explosive and quick movements. Dynamic stretching is a better way to warm up your mobility without hindering your performance. Stretches with movement like leg swings, arm circles, jumping jacks, butt kicks, etc. are good dynamic stretches. These types of movement stimulate your nervous system and muscles to be better prepared for the upcoming activity. Dynamic stretches involve moving your muscles and joints repetitively within your range of motion.
Static stretching still has its place as an important way to improve your flexibility and help with muscle recovery. Save your longer static stretches for the end of your session as it helps decrease neural stimulation to the muscles and enhances relaxation. When your muscles are nice and warm, go ahead and hold longer static stretches. Make sure to breathe slowly through the movements so you deliver adequate oxygen to the muscles and enjoy your cool down period. Take time for this, your body will thank you.
How much time do you spend stretching? How do you fit in stretching when it is hard enough to find time to exercise?
Have a great week!
Cheesy Smoky Butternut Squash Pasta
1 ½ Cup chopped butternut squash, raw
1 pkg dry pasta
1 ½ Cup raw broccoli florets
¾ Cup unsweetened almond milk
½ Cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
½ Cup nutritional yeast
2 T lemon juice and zest of the lemon
1 T tamari
½ tsp ground chipotle powder
Preheat oven to 375. On a baking pan, roast the squash until dark brown and bubbling (about 20 minutes). Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta, and cook.
Before draining, add the broccoli florets and allow to wilt (2-4 minutes). Drain pasta and broccoli and return to the pot. Puree the squash, almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice & zest, tamari and chipotle powder in a blender until smooth. Pour the squash sauce over the pasta and broccoli and stir to combine.
Recipe taken from The Vegiterranean Diet