Before participating in any kind of sport or exercise it is important to stretch and warm up. If you don’t stretch and warm up properly before playing sport, you will find that playing sport will lead to soreness, strains and possibly injuries. You should spend a good 20 minutes stretching, especially if you will be playing a lot of sport.

Stretching and warming up is done so that you can practice using muscles which may not be used that often and help them become more flexible. They also help to get your blood flowing especially if it is a cold day and can help you mentally before the game i.e. relax and calm you down.

Before you start any exercise or sport, be sure to warm up first. This could include a light jog or walking around the room. Once you are warmed up, you can move on to stretches. Stretching should be steady and done slowly. Each stretch should last about five seconds. The type of stretches you do will vary according to the type of activity you will be participating in. Try to target your main muscle areas i.e. legs, arms, back and shoulders.

Stretching before playing can also help to prevent injuries. Muscles need to be flexible so that when you play sport and extreme movement is needed, the muscle will be able to perform. Stretching does not guarantee that you will not get injured during the game; it can help prevent injuries in the long term. By increasing your flexibility over time you will definitely help to prevent yourself from getting seriously hurt as you can prevent imbalances in your muscles occurring.

You should also remember to do a small stretch after you have finished playing as muscles tend to tighten up after being worked. This will help cool you down and relax your body.

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