I’m so glad that you have chosen one of the many available Health Plans to protect yourself with and to give you peace of mind.  And, I know you pay your Health Insurance Premiums faithfully every month.  If your Senior Health plan is a Medicare Advantage plan I know you take advantage of the gym discounts.  Some of you, with a High Deductible Health Plan, may even be extra vigilant in taking care of yourselves.

You may find a few health care professionals out there that will tell you that stretching before and after a workout does not prevent injuries.  I say hooey.  As a person who has worked out for at least the last thousand years I can tell you from personal experience that the time you spend stretching will pay off big time.  But, don’t take my word for it.

Here are some excerpts from a a terrific article from askmen.com.  The article is called Stretching Can Perfect Your Muscles.  “Before explaining the inner-workings of stretching, one must understand how muscles function.  Muscles are made up of small strands of tissue called fascicle, which themselves are composed of a whole bunch of other smaller components.  Add to that connective tissues, fascicle sheaths, lubricants, and the plethora of other things that will make even a biologist’s head spin, and you get a fully functional muscle.  Working out makes all those parts interact with one another.

When a person contracts a muscle, fascicle strand come into play.  Depending on the poundage, a muscle will contract a different amount of fibers.  Muscle strands can’t vary how much they contract; they either contract or they don’t, so in order to lift a heavy load, more fascicles have to constrict.  That being said, as you increase the intensity of your workout, more muscle breakdown and fibers intertwine.”

And, this just in from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons “An effective fitness program is more than aerobic training and strength building.  To really reap the benefits of exercise, you need to add flexibility training to the mix.

Stretching can help your body get ready for exercise.  It is also an essential part of recovering from aerobic activity.  All exercise sessions should end with stretching – and not just for the mental relaxation benefits.  The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to be injured during exercise.”

You will also be able to find online stretching techniques for your particular exercise be it weight lifting, running, walking, swimming, etc.  Happy stretching!

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