At CS Healthcare, we’ve been providing private health insurance for over 85 years, covering those who work in the civil service and not-for-profit organisations. CS Healthcare is a proud CSRF partner and sponsor of Nathan McLellan’s London Marathon attempt. Nathan is extremely passionate about the CSRF cause and when you couple that with his preparation in the lead up to the big event, there’s no stopping him!

To help Nathan and others stay in tip top shape, CS Healthcare have some important tips on stretching, a component often overlooked by many when exercising, but hugely important to avoid injury.

Why stretch before and after exercising?

We’ve all heard how important it is to exercise regularly; however do you know how long you should warm up and cool down for? Warming up prior to any exercise – be it a swim, jog or casual bike ride - is one of the most important components of exercise. The other important element is a proper cool down session post exercise.

Warm up your muscles

During these stretching sessions, make sure to warm up every muscle and joint that will be used in your exercise. Be specific about your movements, starting light and slow to wake up your muscles, and make each movement as natural as possible

Slow down during your cool down

To cool down after exercise, do not just stop moving altogether. Blood is pumping throughout your body and one of the worst things you could do is to stop suddenly. Even though at the end of a run or other workout circuit, you may just want to stop and lie down, resist the urge! By incorporating a few minutes of light cardio and gradually slowing down, you are giving your body, particularly your heart and muscles, time to return to a normal pace.

Make it a habit

Incorporate a mandatory set of stretches before and after your exercise to make the habit stick. Can’t bear the thought of 10 extra minutes to your workout? Remember that a proper warm up and cool down leads to less stress on your body and reduces injury, as well as that post workout pain. Also make it a habit to stay hydrated throughout your exercise, and ensure that you properly fuel up before and after your workout. 

You can help support Nathan by heading over to his Virgin Money Giving page here.

The information in this article intended as general advice only. If you or your family members require medical advice or have any medical concerns, please contact your GP. 

Sources: NHS.UK 

Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash