|Image from Wikipedia|
I lived with it for more than four years, doing static stretches before the physical activity and I never noticed anything damaging to my system, my body, nor to my performance. Even when I'm off from any activities, I got used to stretching every single morning as I wake up. That's the single activity that I can do everyday to wake my blood from the cold eve and seemingly hibernated sleep when I was still in Baguio.
My body got used to the routine of being static to active then more active. And in fact, I even feel incomplete and under-performed whenever I skip that stretching part. Running or playing Table Tennis without stretching first (even if I do some warm-up jogs) feels that my joints can't properly move to its full extent and capacity. Same goes with Taekwondo which really has a lot of stretching exercises that are required to have higher and powerful kicks and agile movements. The flexibility that I needed for Taekwondo and Theater-mime acting was developed through those static stretches. The agility and speed was developed through running and sprinting some hills in Baguio right after those static stretching. And the strength and power came from the push-ups, some weight lifts, core and leg exercises after the tiring morning run. That was when my body was still younger and stronger during my College and aggressive years.
|Image from ImproveHealthInfo|
In contrast, when I started getting back to running since a few years ago, I began to slowly let go of the pre-running static stretches and just do it after some warm-up jogs/runs when my muscles and joints still feels stiff, and after a workout as a cooldown activity to relax my muscles and cardiovascular. Stretching does improve our circulaton, posture, body coordination, and flexibility.
To give you more idea and probably knowledge about the proper time to stretch and if you really should or have to stretch, just follow the link below to find out and share your thoughts and let us all together re-learn. Make sure not to stop reading until you get to the fifth (5th) paragraph:
To Stretch or Not to Stretch by Gretchen Reynolds.
In addition, here are some do's and dont's of stretching that I've also stumbled from yahoo! to guide us on how to properly stretch.