Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't Stretch Yourself Thin?

Newsday has an article debunking myths about exercising. Here was the most startling:

Myth: "Before I work out, I should stretch to help prevent injuries."

A 2004 literature review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed what many studies had shown: Stretching will not prevent injuries. Moreover, stretching is not a warm-up. You're better off performing the exercise you're about to do at a much lower intensity for about 10 minutes - walking or jogging slowly before you run; gently swinging the club before a game of golf.

"There's actually not much data on the benefits of stretching, although it's like God, mother and apple pie - everyone is for it," says Dr. Carl Foster, president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

I love debunking myths, and I have a terrible attention span. I think Mythbusters would be my favorite show, except it's an hour too long. So this combination of debunking an age-old myth and finding a shortcut makes it my favorite news item of the day.

Don't you find it hard to believe though? I honestly don't exercise much, but when I used to run a lot, I would always feel that when I didn't stretch I felt more uncomfortable quicker. Maybe that warm-up technique would have worked better.

1 comment:

Tubby said...

I knew it! Not really, but I always thought stretching was kind of silly. I think it's all in your mind. Like if you don't stretch, you worry about injury, and then you shut yourself down sooner. I used to watch Mythbusters all the time. But I had to stop because (as you said) the show is too long to keep my attention.