Monday's Health Tip: The Importance of Stretching - FamilyEducation

Monday's Health Tip: The Importance of Stretching

June 14,2010
Lindsay Hutton
I recently re-joined the gym in my office building, after canceling my membership to join another gym (that ended up scamming me out of money...ask me about that later!) Since I'm such a regular at the gym, many of the front desk workers and personal trainers recognize me...so much so that I don't think they realized I had actually left for almost a year, and only just re-joined last week. Anyway, perhaps it's because of my lack of regular gym time and my increased time running outside, but I haven't been lifting quite as much. I've been doing my kettlebell workouts, but as far as just plain old lifting, I'd say it's been almost a year. So, Friday, I decided to take a class at the gym called "Club Strength". I should have known by all the toned and sculpted people in the class that it was going to kick my butt, but I put that out of my mind and doggedly set up my little station in the front of the exercise studio. Things went pretty well, and I'm happy to say that after a class full of multiple sets of bicep curls and squats, I survived without any serious injuries. However, three days later, I have a bit of a problem. I can't straighten my arms. Seriously. They are so sore, and so tight from all those bicep curls, that the mere thought of straightening them out brings real tears to my eyes. Suffice to say, I've been walking around with my arms bent at a 90 degree angle for most of the day because I simply can't straighten them. Which brings me to my tip of the day. STRETCH. As much as my arms hurt, I've been stretching them out every 15-20 minutes. It hurts, I mean REALLY hurts, but it's an important aspect of exercise that certainly should never be ignored. In the meantime, if I ever take that class again, maybe I'll stick with some lighter weights and hide in the back, where the instructor can't see me. Ouch.