Stretching is sooooooo important but most of us don't want to waste what little time we carve out of our busy lives to do something so easy and boring before we get down to business with cardio and weights or maybe it's just me. I've learned the hard way that it's absolutely essential to make time for stretching.
My screaming lower back muscles are proof that you can't do all the cardio you want without stretching BEFORE and AFTER. I'm weaning myself off the pain killers (vicodin) and muscle relaxers (flexeril) and getting back to the gym at about half strength. Before I hurt my back I was cranking out 60 minutes on the elliptical and feeling strong and happy to work up a good sweat. I'm not happy that I'm only able to get up to 30 minutes on the elliptical before my back/side/hip starts feeling it. I don't want to push myself out of commission again so I'm going to start listening to what my body is trying to tell me.
Do you make it a point to stretch before and after you workout? How long do you stretch? What type of stretches do you think are most important to do before doing cardio? Any tips on how to get it done without falling asleep on the mat from boredom?