Stretching before and after exercise

Dubai Health Authority exercise stretching
Image Credit: iStock

With the weather improving, you may have noticed growing numbers of joggers and runners appearing around your local area. It’s a common sight to see them stepping out of a building, balancing on one foot as they grasp the other in a quadricep stretch while checking their smartwatch ahead of a cardio session. What you might not know is that this is poor stretching form. This is a static stretch, and it’s not a good idea to do one before a workout, explains Dubai-based fitness instructor and influencer Danny Jones.

“Static stretching before a workout is never advisable purely because the muscles aren’t warm and [this] can increase the risk of injury,” he says, adding that an active warm-up, which incorporates dynamic stretches would be more advisable.

Here, Jones breaks down everything you need to know about stretching – the types, when it’s best to do, what stretch, how much is enough and why they’re important for both improved performance and injury prevention.

Types of stretches

Broadly speaking, there are three categories of stretch. “Static stretching refers to the body being in a static position and holding stretches for a set period of time. Dynamic stretching is a more coordinated and controlled movement that takes the muscles through a set range of motion in order to promote more blood flow to that specific area. Ballistic stretching is a more uncoordinated and uncontrolled stretching technique which uses momentum or bouncing in order to increase the elastic threshold of the muscle.”

For a great pair of dynamic stretches, Jones recommends inchworms – standing with your feet, bend at the hips and then walk your hands forward into an extended plank position, before walking them back – with a hold, before samson lunges, which are similar to regular lunges but with your rear knee on the ground and fingers interlocked above your head to stretch the psoas.

When it comes to lifting, whether you’re doing high weights on low repetitions or large numbers of reps at lighter loads, Jones says this shouldn’t impact your stretching routine. “The only difference between someone weight training versus endurance, is that person will be working specific muscle groups within that workout and is more likely to only stretch the muscle groups that they have used, whereas typically an endurance athlete will incorporate a full-body stretch after a long run, bike or swim, for example, due to the large number of muscles used to perform the exercises.”

Common errors

One of the most frequent mistakes Jones sees his clients make when stretching is duration. “People often rush their stretches without spending enough time in each position – this defeats the object of stretching in the first place as there is zero benefit in holding a stretch for less than ten seconds.”

Another error is bouncing, which commonly occurs during ballistic stretching – this can increase the risk of injury, especially if your muscles aren’t warm. “It takes the muscle through a greater range of motion

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Fitness: Exercise is a golden opportunity for older adults

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Another unexpected finding is that peak oxygen uptake, a measure of cardiovascular fitness, showed no age-related decline over the course of the study. This is good news for older exercisers, as a decline in peak oxygen uptake is typical in this age group and is associated with an increased risk of premature death and coronary heart disease.

The bottom line is that there are a number of options for older adults who want to reap all the health benefits physical activity has to offer. It’s also clear that for active older adults, judging the effectiveness of a workout by its length or intensity isn’t a good practice.

“The central implication is that either shorter-duration vigorous physical activity or longer-duration moderate physical activity or a combination of the two, that amount to the same amount of work each week, will have the same favourable health outcomes, with vigorous physical activity being the time-efficient alternative,” stated the researchers.

So go ahead and pick the workout of your choice — or better yet, mix it up between all three routines featured in this study. For older adults, not only does exercise have the potential to mitigate several of the negative health conditions associated with aging, it can truly make the latter decades of life golden.

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Exercise boosts physical, mental well-being of older cancer survivors

Active older adults — cancer survivors included — are in better physical and mental health than their sedentary peers, a new study finds.

More regular moderate to vigorous physical activity and less sedentary time improve the mental and physical health of older cancer survivors and older people without a cancer diagnosis, say researchers from the American Cancer Society.

“The findings reinforce the importance of moving more and sitting less for both physical and mental health, no matter your age or history of cancer,” study co-author Dr. Erika Rees-Punia said.

“This is especially relevant now as so many of us, particularly cancer survivors, may be staying home to avoid COVID-19 exposure, and may be feeling a little isolated or down,” Rees-Punia added in a cancer society news release.

For the study, the research team analyzed aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, sitting time and mental and physical health of nearly 78,000 people who took part in the society’s Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.

The researchers found clinically meaningful differences in mental and physical health between the most and least active, and the least and most sedentary.

They say the findings support the importance of regular exercise and less sitting time as a way to improve quality of life for older men and women.

The American Cancer Society physical activity guidelines recommend that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity a week. They also advise limiting sedentary behaviors like screen time.

“A simple walk or other physical activity that you enjoy may be good for your mind and body,” Rees-Punia said.

The report was published this week in the journal Cancer.

More information

For more on exercise and health, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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A top-quality alternative to a standard exercise bike

Exercise bikes are a hugely popular home gym option, especially when you have limited space. But if you want to work your arms and torso as well you’ll also need weights or maybe a rowing machine, all of which take up extra space.

That’s where a machine like the JTX Mission AirBike comes in. Not only does it let you get your cycling fix, whatever the weather, but moving handlebars linked to the pedals also mean you can get a full-body workout at the same time.

Buy now from JTX Fitness

JTX Fitness Mission AirBike review: What do you get for your money?

The benchmark machine in this sector is the Assault AirBike Classic, which you’ve probably seen lurking in the corner at your local gym. If you buy one for your own home gym you know you’re getting a certain level of quality but they’re expensive, typically costing £749.

The JTX Mission AirBike matches the Assault AirBike pretty much feature for feature and comes out on top in some areas, too, yet it costs £50 less.

Just like the Assault bike, build quality is excellent with a heavy-gauge steel frame and large, steel-bladed fan providing robust longevity.

Wheels at the front help you move it around (although its 65kg heft means you’ll need someone to help you carry it anywhere) and the saddle has 300mm of height adjustment and 80mm of fore-aft adjustment to help you find a comfortable position.

However, the JTX machine edges in front with a few key advantages. It uses a quiet, maintenance-free belt drive instead of a chain, its handlebars offer multiple positions instead of the one on the Assault Bike, and it has the option to connect a heart rate monitor as well. You have to step up to the £1,249 Assault Bike Elite to get that feature.

Add in a two-year in-home repair warranty (which we doubt you’ll need given how well-made the bike feels), and you have a very good value all-round package.

Buy now from JTX Fitness

JTX Fitness Mission AirBike review: How easy is it to use?

Like all air bikes, the key to how this bike works is the large fan at the front, which is used to generate resistance instead of the flywheels and brakes that regular exercise bikes employ.

This generates resistance that’s directly related directly to the effort you put in, so there’s no need to fumble around with buttons to set the resistance level as you exercise – just push the pedal/handlebars harder for a more intense workout.

Another neat side benefit to using air-resistance exercise bikes is they’re mostly self-powered; only a couple of AA batteries are required to power the computer and display. You don’t need to plug it into the mains or turn it on and wait for it to fire up. Just jump on and start working out. It’s simplicity itself.


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Distance learning means kids are missing out on exercise

Katelyn Esmonde is a postdoctoral fellow and Keshia Pollack Porter is a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University.

This fall hasn’t felt much like “back to school” for many children. Instead, many are staying at home and attending virtual classes indefinitely.

According to the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a nonpartisan research center, about 25% of U.S. school districts have started the year fully remote. This means that children will miss out on vital opportunities for educational, social and emotional development. And, as is familiar during this pandemic, the impact will be unequal: Children in underresourced districts are more likely to be remote learners. These children are hardest hit by school closures as they are more likely to lack access to necessary technologies and are less likely to receive parental help with their learning. They will also lose out on easy access to school meals.

But there’s another harm done by school closures: a child’s ability to be physically active. We are researchers at Johns Hopkins University studying physical activity and its impact on public health. Based on our research, we believe the pandemic is exacerbating health disparities among children and having significant impacts on their physical, social and cognitive development.

No gym classes, no team sports

Children not in school don’t have recess or physical education classes. They aren’t walking to school or to a bus stop. Generally, they can’t participate in school teams or clubs that promote physical activity either (although in some school districts, team sports may go ahead even while in-person education does not).

What’s more, children have traditionally been less physically active in the summer than during the school year, with notable differences by race and ethnicity. And given the punishing trajectory of the pandemic, it is not clear when those prospects for physical activity will be available again.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children between ages 6 and 17 engage in one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. That can improve a child’s physical and mental health and prevent the onset of chronic disease, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Physical activity and active play can also be a source of joy for children. As they socialize with peers, they find pleasure in moving their bodies and developing their strength and physical literacy. Many of us look back fondly on childhood memories of soccer games and running around until we tire ourselves out, a delight every child deserves.

Schools, of course, are not perfect when it comes to meeting children’s physical activity needs. Physical education is chronically underfunded, and Black and Latino children typically lose out the most. Even so, schools provide some opportunities for children to be well and healthy.

Low-income communities are hurt the most

A child’s decrease in physical activity is not only a public health issue. It’s also a matter of fairness.

Prior to the pandemic, children from low-income communities and communities of color already

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Fitness Innovator Teams with Leading Fitness Platform to Enhance Customer Training Experience with In-App Exercise Programs

LITTLE CANADA, Minn., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As fitness app usage soars, with over 84 million consumers using apps in the US alone, Dragon Door announced they would be making their best-selling fitness content available on the TriadXP fitness platform and TriadXP.com.  Dragon Door will use TriadXP to convert their exercise routines into in-app workouts that are performed with the TriadXP app. The app’s voice and visual cues walk exercisers through all exercise routines guiding them on what to do, when, how many, or for how long. With guidance and tracking, customers  enhance their training experience and improve workout efficiency. And, since the TriadXP mobile fitness app tracks the user’s performance as they workout with minimal effort on the users part, it eliminates the need for other apps or pen and paper to track results.

“TriadXP supports virtually any kind of workout,” said John Du Cane, CEO of Dragon Door Publications. “As fitness innovators, we know that long-term results are usually the result of consistent goal setting and the consistent measurement of results. You get what you measure for, and the measurement motivates you to maintain your progress. In that regard, we see TriadXP as the perfect solution to help our customers optimize their workout results.”

Addressing the need for home-based and callisthenic workouts, the bestselling 16-week Get Strong program from fitness gurus Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo will be the first program launched.

Dragon Door, credited with launching the modern kettlebell movement, is a publisher and online fitness retailer and provides advanced training and certification for fitness instructors. When searching for a partner who would provide the requisite technology platform from content conversion thru mobile app, Dragon Door found their answer with TriadXP. TriadXP knows fitness technology and delivers an optimal workout experience for a fitness enthusiast. The easy-to-use mobile fitness app and its versatility were critical in the decision. Equally important was TriadXP’s AI-driven conversion tools, which quickly convert content without needing any technical knowledge at Dragon Door.

“We are excited to partner with a leader like Dragon Door,” said Mike Elia, CEO of Triad Fitness Group. “They have a lot of great content, and we know their users will find it easier to work out and perform their routines on our TriadXP app.”

About Dragon Door Publications
Dragon Door Publications is a publisher of innovative fitness content that offers effective, safe, and proven methods for maintaining a high level of health and physical performance over the long-term. The company is best known for having launched the modern kettlebell movement in 2001. Learn more at www.dragondoor.com

About TriadXP.com
TriadXP.com, a fitness content platform from Triad Fitness Group, provides services and technology to allow content providers to convert text-based programs and related exercise imagery and videos into in-app exercise programs to be performed and tracked with the TriadXP mobile app. The app is free and compatible with iOS and Android devices. TriadXP is making workouts better for everyone. Learn more at www.triadxp.com

Contact: John Du

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Biggest Deals On Fitness And Exercise Equipment

With COVID-19 still running rampant across the globe, safe means of exercising has become the norm for most people. This means working out has shifted from public spaces such as gyms or yoga studios to the comfort of people’s homes. If you are planning to start your own home gym, you need to look no further than Prime Day. This mega shopping festival gives you the opportunity to buy some great fitness equipment for your home at some great discounts, so you can start building your home gym right away.

Here are 10 great fitness equipment you can get for your home gym at throwaway prices on Amazon’s Prime Day sale. Whether you want to increase your strength, practice yoga or improve your cardio capacity, we have the right things you can buy during Prime Day here.

1. VIGBODY Stationary Bike for Home Cardio

(photo from amazon.com)

VIGBODY Stationary Bike for Home Cardio has a robust heavy steel frame and a triangular structure that supports up to 330 pounds in body weight. It works with a leather transmission belt instead of a chain that results in a quiet workout. You can enjoy an outdoor riding experience even at home. Its 4-way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebar offer a comfortable experience while exercising. The adjustable nature of this bike makes it perfect for all members of your family.

2. LEEKEY Resistance Band Set

(photo from amazon.com)

LEEKEY Resistance Band Set comes with four bands that are made of natural latex material, which has strong wear resistance and can withstand extreme tensile force. You can train with no worries of wear and tear with these excellent bands. They offer excellent resistance while doing pull-ups. The bands also work for anyone who needs to stretch out sore muscles after a workout and stiff ones for before. They are a perfect addition to your home gym and easy to carry in your duffle bag when you go to a fitness center for a workout, too.

3. BEAUTYOVO Puzzle Exercise Mat

(photo from amazon.com)

BEAUTYOVO Puzzle Exercise Mat is made up of all-black foam floor mats that interlock together. Once assembled, they cover about 96 square feet. You can also safely use them as an indoor playground for kids. The mats are made of flexible and impact resistant Eva foam that has thick padding to provide excellent cushioning for your body or equipment. The thick mats safeguard your floor from scratches, scuffs and dents. 

4. Tone Fitness Aerobic Step 

(photo from amazon.com)

Tone Fitness Aerobic Step is light-weight and easy to carry, weighing in at just 5. 5 pounds. The step offers a secure, non-slip surface for your workout routine and is adjustable for two height levels of 4-inches or 6-inches. It includes a workout chart to provide additional instructions and exercises for you. The step can be used by people of all levels to help build endurance, strength and improve overall fitness. It comes in two colors: neon yellow and black.

5. ProsourceFit

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