If you think stretching is just a couple hastily done side bends and toe-touches at the beginning of your workout, think again. Stretching may not help you shed pounds in the same way exercise does, but it does play a role in overall physical fitness because it helps to keep your muscles relaxed and able to handle more intense activity. Making it a regular part of your workout routine can help you get more out of exercising, which in turn, can potentially support a healthy weight management regimen.
DYNAMIC STRETCHING: PRE-WORKOUT POWER-UP
Good For: Improving range of motion and getting muscles geared up for vigorous physical activity like running and interval training
ACTIVE STRETCHING: HARDER THAN IT LOOKS
Good For: Strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility
PASSIVE/STATIC STRETCHING: THE CLASSIC COOL-DOWN
Good For: Winding down post-workout and relieving muscle pain
FOAM ROLLING: WORK OUT KINKS—NO MASSEUSE REQUIRED
Good For: Relieving targeted pain, unraveling knots and aiding in recovery
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