Most people think that they have to stretch before they begin any activities, especially a workout. While I would never tell you not to stretch, the fact is that stretching to prevent sore muscles or reduce your risk of injury is not proven to work.
Keep in mind however, exercises that focus on developing flexibility do in fact enhance performance, overall fitness and peace of mind. Aim for a basic stretching program 2 to 3 days per week in addition to your normal workout routine of strength training and cardio.
Another important tip is that you should never stretch a cold body. You should always warm the muscles up a little bit before you begin to stretch to help avoid tearing connective tissue. This can be done easily by taking a 5 minute walk or jogging and doing jumping jacks for a few minutes.
Another great way to increase your flexibility and even get a good sweat on is through yoga and Pilates programs. Both of these programs are proven to increase your flexibility and improve overall performance. My preferred at home workout programs, P90X and P90X3 both implement yoga into the routine, and P90X3 includes Pilates. Another program that will really help you improve your flexibility is Tai Cheng. You can learn more about Tai Cheng here.
If you have any questions, or need some assistance in reaching your goals, please contact me. I am here to help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals.