Things You Should Know about Benefits of Hiking and Trekking

Today more and more people, especially in Europe and America, are adopting hiking and trekking as a major outdoor event. Not only in these countries, but the trend of hiking and trekking is also increasing in many other parts of the world. But have you ever thought, what are the health benefits of hiking and trekking? Are these outdoor events really beneficial for health? Is hiking or trekking for everyone or has some age bar? Does hiking only has health benefits or are there any psychological benefits too?

These are some questions which quite often strike in our mind. If someone seeks answers to these questions, although most of them are subjective in nature as far as the degree of benefits is concerned, certainly the response would be positive. Most of the people would immediately say, “Yes there are countless benefits.” No doubt, there are many benefits of hiking and trekking ranging from controlling obesity to preventing heart disease in improving the quality of the air we breathe.

While many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started, the hiking is relatively much simpler and more beneficial than any other exercise. Literally, anyone can put on a pair of shoes along with few necessary gears and equipment and start moving into the woods for a little fresh air-this is called hiking. The scenery, accessibility and diverse nature of hiking trails make this heart-healthy pastime attractive for people of all ages, fitness levels and income brackets. Moreover, except for a few points, hiking and trekking don’t require any special expertise and skills.

Hiking or trekking allows us to maintain our body in good working condition by walking which is really a good exercise. It improves our physical as well as mental health and the list of benefits from hiking and trekking is infinite. Hiking is essentially walking that is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body. You can get a chance to spend some quality time together with Mother Nature, so it also provides a mental health antidote. Everyone can find trails to suit their physical strengths. And unlike other activities or sports, it is a pursuit that allows people to determine their own limitations.

Many research findings and studies show that hiking is an excellent way to lose extra pounds and improve overall health. To improve overall health, we don’t necessarily need to do heavy and painful workouts, but just a short brisk walk of few minutes can be more than sufficient. According to the American Heart Association, it’s best to walk vigorously for 30 to 60 minutes 3-4 times per week. But even low- to moderate intensity walking can have both short- and long-term benefits. Similarly, According to Walking for Health, people “won’t find a better way to lose weight than walking.” The results will be more permanent and pleasurable than any diet or weight loss scheme.

For example, in December 2001, the US surgeon general called the increased rate of obesity in the United States an epidemic. The report states that 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, and the number is increasing year after year. In addition, thirteen percent of children are overweight. The report recommends that communities create safe sidewalks or walking trails to encourage physical activity. Not only these, but there are many more research findings that clearly show multiple health benefits of hiking and trekking.

When it comes to enlist the health benefits, then the list may go endless consisting of several mental as well as physical health benefits, such as losing excess pounds, preventing heart disease, decreasing hypertension or high blood pressure, improving and maintaining mental health, slowing the aging process, preventing osteoporosis, improving the quality of the air we breathe, preventing and controlling diabetes, improving arthritis, relieving back pain (which has become an epidemic in the modern contemporary world along with healthy habits for a healthy life i.e. team building skills, positive attitude, kindness, empathy. At last but not least, hiking has countless health benefits and the beauty is that it doesn’t cost you much. Moreover, while at hiking you can take other family members and your young children along with you without much difficulty. Indeed, it is a good idea to spend more time with your family and children. For young children, it helps improve their physical stamina and team building skills.

Friends, just go for a hike and see what we mean. Happy hiking!


Regular walking can help you burn fat and become fit

You really should seriously consider going for a walk on a regular basis not only for overall wellness but also to control your body-weight. Naturally, it all depends on the amount you walk and also the intensity of your walks. Walking presents a risk-free way to workout and loses weight and stronger work will result in more weight loss. If long-lasting weight loss is what you’re looking for, then that is possible with walking because it is easy to keep up this type of routine. The verified approach to enduring fitness is adding wholesome patterns over time, and maintaining your walking will offer you what you want.

One problem a lot of people have is they remain less active because they are not interested in doing a grueling exercise program. That is one more reason why walking may be suitable for your way of life and personal tastes. Any time you start walking, you will exercise many of your important muscle groups, and that will begin toning them right away. Needless to say, walking is extremely good for consuming calories, and that is the important thing to getting rid of excess fat. If you carry on on this program, you need to try to raise your walking distance. This is what you desire to accomplish because walking even farther and at a higher pace will use up more calories.

The most effective way to lose some weight is performing exercises longer and for a less rigorous period. The best approaches to lower your weight is with aerobic type exercises which are certainly not as extreme as what you could do. Walking is generally not looked at as an aerobic exercise, despite the fact that it can be, but it will work in a very similar way. If you can get in a great walk for an hour, then you will be having great progress. In fact, if you haven’t been exercising for a while, then you ought to adjust your time for what is safe and helpful for you.

You can certainly experience many terrific gains from a solid walking program. You can achieve a greater ability to metabolize more calories when you are sitting because your muscle tissue will be toned and in better shape. There is much more, though, and raising your overall blood circulation will also happen through walking. With this boost, the cells in your body will have much more oxygen, and that will provide you with more energy. But it doesn’t stop there, the greater amount of oxygen will also promote a higher sense of mental well being and overall more alert feeling.

Another great advantage of walking is it can be genuinely satisfying if you form a team to walk with. Walking is a form of work out most can easily do, and that will enable you to find others to join in. Furthermore, there is no necessity for anything other than what you would normally wear, but quality walking footwear really is a good idea. Just ensure you have adequate heel and ankle support as well as cushioning.


How to Get Low-Cost Prescription Drugs

Low-cost prescription drugs are increasingly important to everyone.  The cost of health care services and prescription drugs has been steadily increasing throughout the years. In a recent study done by the National Coalition on Health Care, it was found that the total expenses for health care rose by as much as 6.9% – roughly twice the current inflation rate. The latest available data on health care spending showed that health and medical expenses amounted to 2 trillion dollars in 2005. This amount is expected to increase to 2.9 trillion in 2009 and to 4 trillion by the year 2015.

With the rising cost of health care and prescription medication, it is no wonder that people are getting delinquent about their health. Studies show that the number of people who a) stops taking medications; b) forego refilling prescriptions, and c) buy miracle medicines are steadily increasing. If you are taking a number of prescription medications, you may be glad to know that there are smart ways to get cheap but quality prescription drugs. Below are some methods that you can use to get low-cost prescription drugs:

Ask for assistance from social workers.

By law, every hospital has a social worker that helps patients find assistance programs and grants if they cannot afford medical care and their medications. If you are finding it difficult to pay for health care and prescription medications, ask the information desk at your hospital for the social worker’s office in the vicinity. Inquire about the requirements you need to submit and follow up to find out if you qualify. It is also important to inform your doctor firsthand that you cannot pay for the full cost of health care and prescription medication. He or she can refer you to a social worker or other programs that can assist you in your financial fix.

Look for assistance programs from drug companies.

Drug companies may be the last thing on your mind when you think of health care assistance but they do offer it. Major pharmaceutical companies often have assistance programs for people who are taking a number of prescription medications. This is particularly useful for you if you are taking several prescription medications from the same manufacturer. For example, Merck, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, offers patients taking Merck medications patient assistance and prescription discount programs. These programs aim to help patients get quality but cheap health care for free or at least, for a lower cost. Ask your doctor about the manufacturer of your prescriptions and check its website for possible assistance programs.

Get in touch with organizations that provide health care assistance.

Aside from the government and drug companies, you can also look to civic organizations for health care assistance. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is one such organization that aims to bring discounted and low-cost medications closer to patients. You can check its website and see if you qualify for its assistance programs. With a database of over 400 programs and 5000 medicines available for no-cost or reduced assistance, you have a high chance of qualifying.


The Ins-And-Outs About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The youth of today enjoy much freedom when it comes to self-expression as compared to the old days when parents decide for their children even to the point of choosing their life partners. Although some families remained conservative and traditional, the rest of society adapts to a fast-paced lifestyle where the convention is out of the rule and individuality is the name of the game.

In this sexually-permissive culture, it is important to consider what lies ahead for you and for your loved ones, and how you can protect each other from getting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

Awareness of sexual health issues is very important. More than just the absence of the disease or its dysfunction and infirmities, it is also a state of physical, emotional, psychological and social well-being with regards to one’s sexuality. Addressing sexual health issues involves a complex web of factors such as attitude, behavior, genes, environment and the economy.

Sexual health also deals with problems such as STD, HIV, pregnancy, abortion, infertility, cancer, and a wide range of sexual dysfunctions. Those who are in a relationship must not automatically consider an infected partner as being unfaithful.

One must learn to practice a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships and this can be achieved if the sexual rights of every individual are respected and protected.

Do not be deceived by mere appearances. Even the healthiest-looking person can be infected by STD. It’s not easy to tell if the person beside you has STD, or other illnesses for that matter, just by the way that person looks and acts. There are STDs that do not show any obvious signs. Symptoms can be very subtle that the person infected may not even know it.

It is very important that aside from your regular health check-up, you should also take special attention in knowing your own body especially when you are healthy. So that if any changes take place such as skin infections or sores, as well as any unusual discharge or pain while urinating, it will be easier for you to recognize these signs and symptoms because you already know how your body is like when healthy.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases are diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites, which can easily be transmitted through body contact during sex. There are at least 25 different sexually transmitted diseases which can be spread by sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Sometimes, STD takes a long time to display any kind of symptoms. The following are some of the most common STD that affect sexually active individuals: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Bacterial Vaginosis, Crabs or Pubic Lice, Epididymitis, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Gut Infections, Hepatitis, Molluscum, Non-Specific Urethritis, Scabies, Syphilis, Thrush, Trichomonas Vaginosis, Balanitis.

Early detection and treatment of STD are very important to avoid serious infections that may lead to long-term or permanent damage. When left untreated, STD may cause infertility and can be passed on from a pregnant mother to her unborn child. Sexually Transmitted Diseases can be easily passed onto sexual partners and can aid in the transmission of HIV.

One of the surest ways to avoid STD is by sexual abstinence. But you don’t have to be chaste just to be free of this dreaded STD. The practice of safe sex can greatly help in minimizing risk from STD. Consult with your professional health care provider for advice on getting tested for STD and other sexual health concerns.


“Increase In Organic Food Sales Increases Substantially,” Says Study

Organic products, within the last decade and a half, have improved enough to have nearly achieved mainstream status. In the early 1990s you could only come across organic produce in a few high-end type grocery stores, but today most supermarkets have an area in their stores that are specifically designated as organic.

With the improved availability and stable sales, organic food is now more affordable. Increased sales mean that people have become more conscious of our environment as well as aware of what we put into our bodies.

The greater the people who become aware of the benefits of organic foods, in particular, leads to an even larger demand for the food, which results in higher production. There’ll be a downward movement in organic food prices as the production and demand for them continue to go upward. Sales for organic foods in the 1990′s grew 20% each year until they hit $9 billion in the early part of the 21st century. Today more than 70 percent of shoppers in the US, at some time or another will buy organic food.

It is expected that organic food production will continue to become more mainstream, which is not only good for our health but also the environment as well. It was actually only 15 years ago that most people had no idea what organic food meant.

Today, when nearly all people who see a label with organic on it, know what it means, and that is that it has been grown without hormone supplements, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Organic cultivating is more than merely substituting natural materials for synthetics is a system of growing good food, within the boundaries of nature.

It doesn’t matter much if this is done in your backyard garden or is done on a larger scale by the organic farmer.

The very beginning of the process is with healthy soil that will produce healthy plants, which are resistant to disease and pests, naturally. Because the science of natural soil improvement continues to expand, organic farmers have become less centered on chemicals to treat plants than regular farmers.

Long-term soil developing compared to the chemical quick-fix approach is the difference in attitudes between the two groups. Once you develop crops organically, it can be applied just about anywhere.

With dangerous chemical inorganic pesticides, people need to avoid the growing area for a required safety period. Also, the water system will never be plagued by organic gardening.

The organic system takes advantage of safety and personal health as a motivational factor because they live where they grow the food. Through cultivating crops without chemicals, farmers are creating a sustainable environment that will have a positive effect on the world at large.


Relationship Tips: Practice Biofeedback Through Meditation

Having constructive feedback from others can help you improve your life by discovering self and enhancing your relationships. We often teach from healthy feedback, which today’s latest solution such as biofeedback offer us ways to regulate bodily functions through sound and light. The elements of this form of feedback focus on the brain and body responses, such as the muscles, heart, the temperature of the body and so on. The machines signal the participants by allowing them to read out prints on a monitor. The participants are able to monitor their reactions from physical responses.

The natural remedies are something we already use throughout our life since our body and mind tells us when to stop or take action. When your head begins to hurt, for example, you might cease reading or watching television and close your eyes to relax the brain. Biofeedback provides you with ways to take control of your mind and body reactions. One can learn ways to take control of the central nervous system by controlling the heart activities, sweat, the tension in the muscles, and even self-consciousness.

When one learns to balance the mind and body it makes it easier for that one to discover the self, while working toward healthier ways of living that promote healthier relationships. By regulating and controlling your blood pressure through biofeedback, one can focus on what he or she must do to make the self healthier. If you find it difficult to relax, you can practice biofeedback through meditation. The practice will help you to focus on the physical and mental responses.

How to practice biofeedback through meditation to promote healthy self and relationships-
You will need to find a relaxing, quiet area in which you can concentrate without interruptions. Once you find the correct place to practice meditation, relax the body in a comfortable area of your environment. Once you are relaxed, close your eyes. Center in on your brain’s activity while working to encourage relaxation. Next, focus on your toes. Visualize your toes and allow yourself to feel the sensations coming from this area of the body. Continue to move up your body until you allow the responses to express its feelings and sensations. Once you reach the chest area, start to acknowledge your heart’s activities. Notice how the heart is reacting.

After you finish connecting with all parts of your body, start to become aware of your brain’s activities. Allow your thoughts and feelings to express it freely. Do not interrupt your thoughts; rather allow them room to express what it is feeling.

You can go into subliminal learning to discover the self, but for now, you want to become aware of your body and mind’s responses in order to take control of your actions. This will move you to a healthier way of living since you control your body. You can build better relationships once you work to improve the self.

You can build a stronger relationship with the self by learning ways to manage stress through meditation and biofeedback. If you believe, you have other problems that are slowing your progress from building your strength you may need to seek professional advice from a qualified mental health expert or physician.

In the meant time try biofeedback, since biofeedback can offer you many solutions for creating a healthy self and a healthy relationship with others. Various machines, devices, and other biofeedback solutions are available online. Take some time to explore the latest new age solutions. You will find it easier to relax by using the devices, which will encourage you to build a healthy self and relationship.


Unlocking the Mysteries of Depression and Bipolar Disorder

New measures are being explored to help patients with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, to cope with their crushing illness. Surprising options are being tested as possible treatments for this disorder, such as motion sickness patches, a drug used to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease and a device that produces an electric field around the brain.

Bipolar disorder is a complex and mysterious illness characterized by severe mood swings, from mania to depression. A sufferer can experience periods of increased energy, over-activity, irritability and sometimes delusions during the manic phase, and low mood, reduced concentration, disturbed sleep and ideas of self-harm during the depressed state. This condition can ruin careers and split marriages apart. Extreme cases of depression can even drive desperate people to commit suicide.

Despite years of study, researchers have yet to develop a medication specifically for bipolar disorder. Anti-depression medicines currently sold in the market to help reduce symptoms but often fall short of complete treatment.
Nothing is certain about the latest batch of possible treatments that includes even the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Approaches were identified by logic, and others by pure chance. However, scientists already have early evidence that someday these treatments may prove useful against bipolar disorder.

Individuals having episodes of mania may experience periods of boosted energy and restlessness that can run for a week or more, resulting in sleeplessness as well as extreme irritability. During this episode, a person may exhibit unusual behavior, such as rage and promiscuity. On the other hand, episodes of depression characterize the other face of the bipolar coin, a period of boredom, sleepiness, and lack of energy, which may last a week or more. Again, even thoughts of suicide may enter the picture.

Current bipolar treatments include a variety of drugs including lithium and other anticonvulsant and antipsychotic medications that can stabilize mood. Psychological therapy and patient education greatly boost the effectiveness of these drugs.

What makes bipolar disorder harder to treat is that its depressive episodes are more severe and more resistant to therapy than ordinary unipolar depression. Some current bipolar medications have side effects including weight gain, sleepiness, tremor, and the sense of feeling “drugged.”

As in the case of lithium, the new batch of possible treatments for bipolar disorder has revealed their potential only by chance. Take the experience of National Institute of Mental Health researchers Maura Furey and Dr. Wayne Drevets with the drug scopolamine, which is normally used to keep people from getting seasick or carsick. When they were studying whether scopolamine could improve memory and attention in depressed people, they noticed an odd thing as the patients started feeling less depressed the night after the injections, a remarkable thing since most antidepressants take weeks to kick in.

In October 2006, after Drevets and Furey changed their research focus to test the drug’s effect on depression itself, they published an encouraging, though preliminary, result with a small group of depressed patients, some of whom had been diagnosed bipolar disorder.

Furey is now leading a study using scopolamine skin patches — like those that travelers wear to prevent motion sickness — to treat depression in bipolar disorder as well as ordinary depression. For now, people shouldn’t try patch treatment for depression on their own, she said.

A similar incident happened at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., in 2001 when depressed bipolar patients who were getting their brains scanned for a study on brain chemistry suddenly felt a lot better. And in 2004, they published their conclusion that the electric fields produced by the brain scans might help lift depression.

But not everything is being based on luck. Apart from luck, researchers have taken advantage of the few insights they have into the bipolar disease to develop potential treatments. Scientists say the real key to unlocking the mysteries of bipolar disorder – and thereby open the way for the development of new drugs – lies in a new generation of research into DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, which could possibly be the key to discovering an effective treatment for bipolar disorder.


Grow Tomato Vegetables Inside Containers

If you do not have much space, but you would like to grow your own vegetables, you can still grow tomatoes. It is possible to grow tomatoes just about anyplace as long as there is a good amount of sunlight. There are plenty of gardeners who grow tomatoes in planting pots. You will find that raising tomatoes using containers is not that much diverse from growing in outdoor soil. Small tomato plants need to be raised in the house with care until they have become strong enough to transplant.

When doing this approach to a container, the plant stem should be buried as much as is possible, which will promote root formation. This will likely form an excellent foundation for the plant, no matter where the tomato is grown. You might have far more control over the quality of the soil as well as other contents when you grow tomatoes in a container. Once you have found what works, you can continue to work with the same formula for your success. A person could try to grow tomatoes without any soil or pure compost or a combination of both. A good combination for growing vegetables in planting pots is 40% peat moss, 40% compost, and 20% perlite.

You don’t need to mess with garden earth when growing in containers, but you will need to do more fertilizing and watering. Given that tomato plants do not possess long roots, the key to solid growth is proper watering and sufficient nutrients. Consequently, you may have to water every day if not more depending on how hot it gets. If you work with large containers and more mulch, it is possible to grow good tomatoes. For any good harvest, be sure that you satisfy the needs of your tomato plant.

Cultivate Tomato Vegetables Using Containers

Growing Tomatoes in Containers

To avoid needing to remember to water your plants every day, you can create an automatic drip system. It might appear involved or pricey but it’s not the case. According to the number of containers you might have, the irrigation system might cost between $50 and $100. In the long run, this will probably be a worthy investment. To lessen water evaporation and continue to keep weeds down, it is a sensible idea to apply to mulch to all of your containers. Always keeping your plants assembled and organized is an extra benefit of mulching. You should use extra fertilizer once your plants have their first blossoms, and twice the normal usage should work. Achieving this could generate more fruit that’s bigger and tastier. Be very prepared in the volume of fertilizer you give and give it consistently.

The moment your tomato fruits are actually ripe you should pick them because you will encourage new fruit production by picking each tomato off. You will get great results just about anywhere if you grow tomatoes in containers. Enjoy yourself and be creative with your container gardens.


Sexual Health Benefits of Martial Arts and Yoga

According to history, in A.D. 527, an emperor named Wu Di invited an Indian monk named Bodhidharma to travel to China. The purpose of the journey was for Bodhidharma to come and teach his fellow monks in certain exercises to help strengthen their bodies. Monks in Henan province were frequently attacked by bandits and had no training in how to defend themselves.

After arriving in Henan Temple, Bodhidharma meditated for nine long years. After he finished the meditation, Bodhidharma wrote two books entitled, “Yi Jin Jing” and “Xi Sui Jing”. The former was about exercises for developing external strength while the latter was about meditation and breathing.

After finishing the two books, he wrote a third book entitled “Shi Bao Luo Han Shou” (The Eighteen Hands of Lohan), which was about his experiences as a member if the Kshatriya. (Indian warriors and rulers). This book included synchronized defensive routines. Historians consider this book as the first manual on offensive and defensive combat movements. That was how the martial arts began in China.

These facts explain the close similarity of the postures in Chinese martial arts and yoga. Both traditions focused on the lower abdominal region as the center of all human energy (chi, pneuma, ki). Martial arts and Yoga were both developed to promote a healthy body, increase lifespan, and attain a state of bliss.

According to Eastern beliefs, the mysterious power of the chi is responsible for self-healing, self-recovery, and self-realization; and that ll life in the cosmos is inspired by the chi. As the “life force” or vital energy that is present in every living thing, it is also the same force that controls the universe. Chi is the Chinese word for the word life…and translated as ‘pneuma’ in Greek… and ‘ki’ in Japanese.

Clinical studies show that martial artists use several aspects of fitness like muscular strength, endurance, aerobic, and anaerobic conditioning. Their training also involves flexibility, body composition, motor skills, and coordination. These training modes may give practitioners health benefits such as

stronger muscles and improved endurance. Martial arts training also includes meditation. These moments of stillness may bring short periods of relaxation. Some people actually see martial arts as “moving meditation.” Researches have also shown that the regular practice of martial arts help release stress and improve one’s self-esteem.

Sexual health

But more than just a system of self-defense and meditation, the martial arts practice is also associated with the improvement of libido and overall sexual performance. People who frequently exercise have more energy, less anxiety, better self-esteem, and increased testosterone levels. Martial arts not only firms one’s body and improve their overall health, martial arts can also improve one’s sex life.

The practice of martial arts entails rigorous physical exertion. Still, Bodhidharma was careful to teach his monk-students about the virtue of moderation. He taught them that even in martial arts, care must be exercised to avoid over-training. Some studies show that too much intense physical training may have an effect on one’s sterility.

An investigation by health experts revealed that exercising too much causes fatigue, which then temporarily reduces sperm count and quality.

Other researches point out that those who exercised to the point of exhaustion produced less sperm during ejaculation. Specialists say that this happens because the body literally “kills” itself during training. To build muscles and improve the body, it needs to recuperate to attain normal cell development.

Intense physical activities may reduce the level of hormones in the bloodstream that affects sperm production. Medical experts believe that sperm levels return to nearly normal after about three days.

They added that drinking coffee after a few hours of training may protect sperm quality because of the antioxidants that are found in caffeine.

Indeed, understanding the benefits of martial arts and exercise can make a difference in one’s life. If done properly, these arts may promote good health and an even better sex life.


Flexibility Training: Stretch Your Way to Better Health

If you want to stay fit and healthy you really need to be stretching regularly. Over the years a lot of health nuts have been incorporating physical activities like cardiovascular training and weightlifting into their fitness routines, almost making exercise the center of their lifestyle. These people are often in a hurry to improve their physique or level of physical fitness that they have forgotten the importance of flexibility training. This kind of training is probably one of the most underrated and undervalued component of conditioning and physical fitness.

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Flexibility training increases the the body’s range of motion. With flexibility, a person’s athletic performance is enhanced, with the risk of acquiring injuries greatly reduced. Stretching also speeds up metabolism. These benefits are achieved by improving blood flow into the different internal organs and muscles. Flexibility training helps lengthen the muscle fibers, facilitate ease of movement, while improving muscle recovery and strength. Flexibility training may also reduce muscle soreness, lower back pain, improve coordination and posture, and ease stress and anxiety in one’s life. In addition to these health benefits, various medical studies suggest that regular stretching enables the body’s internal organs to function properly because of improved blood flow.

However, the benefits of flexibility can only be enjoyed if proper training is done. Individuals who fail to perform proper flexibility training may develop injuries and hamper their workout goals. People who want to engage in flexibility training should include the following:

Before stretching, individuals should remember to perform warm-up exercises. These exercises may loosen up the muscle, improve blood flow, and prepare them for flexibility training.

Do not bounce (ballistic stretching) when performing static stretches. Medical experts suggest that ballistic stretching may cause immediate and residual pain. In the long run, it may lead to serious muscle damage.

Try to hold for at least 15-30 seconds to achieve long term flexibility benefits.

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Perform flexibility and cool down exercises after workout to return the muscles to their resting stage.

Stretch gradually. Stretch only to the point where mild muscle tension is felt. If there is pain, then you might be doing it wrong. Move into each pose gradually and exhale while doing it.

Warming up is a crucial part of a flexibility program. A good flexibility program works best if a good warm-up session of about five to ten minutes of brisk walking or jogging is done before it. This is done because stretching cold muscles may lead to pulled or torn muscles. Health experts believe that the possibility of getting injured may decrease if the tendons and muscles are more conditioned.
Warming-up exercises may also bring the following health benefits:

  • Increase the heart and respiratory rate
  • Boost the amount of nutrients and oxygen delivered to the muscles
  • Prepare the body for a more strenuous workout
  • Make it easier to burn more calories
  • Extend one’s workout routine

A well-planned flexibility training program which includes warm-up exercises may improve fitness and overall health, regardless of age. Physical activities and workouts should not be done hastily. People who want to lose weight or improve their fitness level should remember that there are no shortcuts to physical fitness. Proper training may prevent injuries that may hamper one’s workout program. Individuals who want to engage in flexibility training should seek the approval of doctors and other health professionals. Some medical conditions may prevent certain individuals from performing flexibility poses and stretches.