Monday, July 13, 2015
In our most recent book, Positively Smarter: Science and Strategies for Increasing Happiness, Achievement, and Well-being, Donna Wilson and I include chapters discussing the science and strategies for reaping the benefits of exercise for the Body-Brain System. Another important topic in physical wellbeing is that of when and how to stretch. While the common assumption is that stretching before exercising prevents injury, research does not support this claim. Rather, warming up—for instance, by walking or slow jogging before a run—is beneficial in terms of increasing blood flow and warming up the muscles. The time to stretch is after exercise, when you are more flexible and can achieve greater benefits.
This article in WebMD has a useful guide to smarter approaches to stretching, making the excellent point that stretching should be a regular part of your exercise routine.