Red Rose Run: Stretching May 14, 2015 By Amber Strazzo Don’t forget to stretch! Stretching promotes increased circulation, better posture, increased flexibility and range of motion. It can also decrease your risk of injury when exercising and it can help relieve stress, too – that sounds like a good deal to me – what’s to lose? Here are a few things to keep in mind when stretching: Remember to stretch after your workout. Stretching before your run elongates the muscles. Muscles that are not stretched are capable of springing back, enabling your legs to move faster during your run. Studies have shown that runners who stretch post-workout were able to run farther and for longer periods of time. Stretch within your limits, increasing intensity or duration as you are able. Never stretch to the point of pain or extreme discomfort. Stretches should help you, not hurt you! Hold your stretches for 15-30 seconds to maximize the benefits. Breathe normally throughout each stretch. Don’t hold your breath while exercising or stretching. Tip: If you are not familiar with many stretches, just do a quick search on YouTube. There are lots of instructional videos that can help you determine the stretches that will help get you warmed up for your run and prepare you to meet personal running goals. (You’re planning to join me for the Red Rose Run, right?) A few specific stretches that you will want to check out include: Glute Stretch Quadricep Stretch Hamstring Stretch Calf Stretch Runner’s Lunch (Hip Flexors) Trunk Stretch By Kyra Melleby Myers, guest blogger Kyra Melleby Myers is a Sales Executive at Highmark Blue Shield. She lives in Mount Joy with her husband, Tony and two children, Andrew and Molly.