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Stretching for maximum results

One of the most important and crucial actions before working out is stretching. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Adamarie Lewis-Paige, photo by Abner Guzman)

One of the most important and crucial actions before working out is stretching. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Adamarie Lewis-Paige, photo by Abner Guzman)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- One of the most important and crucial actions before working out is stretching. Health studies show that stretching can reduce stress levels which can contribute to a healthier life. There are various types of exercises which help you stretch out your muscles, circulate the blood throughout the body and ensure that flexibility can be achieved.

Some may think that preparation is overrated but anyone that has tore a muscle, strained a muscle or even received cramps while working out, usually are a victim of not stretching enough. Stretching is a proponent of good posture and directly impacts your overall performance in any sporting activity.

While stretching, ensure the muscle is extended to its peak range of motion, but not too far as overstretching could lead to injury. Proper stretching needs to be done before, during and after your workouts to ensure you achieve your maximum potential. Remember that proper stretching is important, but proper hydration should never be overlooked.

Stretching not only helps your body, it also helps your mind. Exercises like Yoga & Tai Chi are powerful stress relievers which can contribute to a long and healthy life. Examples of what Yoga and Tai Chi can do for you are; increased lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons(better mobility), complete detoxification(clear mental picture), and excellent toning of muscles.

On another note, research shows that stress can definitely have adverse effects on a person's mind and body making it difficult to do things on a daily basis. Taking the time out to do any activity that can prevent stress will pay off many times over.