Stretching Exercises – An Essential Part of Physical Fitness

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Cocoa contains plenty of antioxidants.

 The word antioxidant is a popular word over the last few years; because of how essential they are to maintaing good health especially at the cellular level.  Cocoa has no shortage of them.  What are they exactly?  According to the World English Dictionary, Antioxidant: “biology a substance, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta carotene, that counteracts the damaging effects of oxidation in a living organism.”  In the simplest terms, they help reverse and prevent free radical damage to our bodies within our cells.

Cocoa Packs A Powerful Antioxidant Punch With Flavonoids

  • Cocoa flavonoids are thought to protect the cardiovascular system.  A few of the benefits to the cardiovascular system that they provide are:
  • Suppress the formation of blood clots.
  • Regulate immune and inflammatory responses in blood vessel walls.
  • Stop plaque that leads to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol aka bad cholesterol.
  • Regulating the constriction of small blood vessels to help prevent high blood pressure.

 Cocoa Contains Procyanidin Which Prevents Cancer

 Dictionary.com defines procyanidin which is also known as proanthocyanidin as: “a type of flavonoid found in many plants that can be used as a dietary supplement to enhance immunity and to strengthen connective tissue.”   Proanthocyanidins help to reduce cancer by inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells, reducing inflammation, removing toxins from the body, and suppressing Angiogenesis.  Angiogenesis is the process when tumors acquire a blood supply, which is critical for cancer development and survival.  So basically proanthocyanidin stops cancer cells in their tracts.

Cocoa And Healthier Living.

Enough with all these technical terms about antioxidants and such.  Plain and simple, if you could choose one food source to extend your life and become healthier look no further than cocoa. So, If you want to protect your DNA and your health call on the antioxidant super hero and eat some cocoa.

Stretching exercises is an important part of a balanced exercise routine.Balanced nutrition is just as important as balanced physical fitness.  You can’t just eat a bunch of fiber or protein and not pay attention to your salt and sugar intake and expect to lose weight.  The same goes for physical fitness; you can’t do a bunch of cardio or a bunch of strength training and just totally forget about stretching exercises.  You need a balance of all three together to complete the physical fitness puzzle.

Stretching Exercises Help With Flexibility

As we age we lose our range of motion and our muscles become weaker.  A regular exercise routine that includes stretching exercises will increase range of motion, which will strengthen joints and help with debilitating diseases like arthritis.  A flexible athlete/person can do so much more with their physical activity and their life.  If I go weeks without a good stretch I can tell a difference, I feel so tense and less limber.   Flexibility is one the biggest benefits to stretching exercises.

Injury prevention Comes With Good Stretching Exercises.

To help with injury prevention during physical activity it is suggested to stretch before and after exercise.  It is essential to remember to never stretch before warming up; this could lead to hurting yourself, causing something like a pulled or strained muscle during physical activity.  Never just finish a workout and go about your business without a few minutes of stretching exercises.

Other benefits of Stretching Exercises

  • Stress relief
  • Increased circulation
  • Increased mental focus and clarity which is caused by increased circulation
  • Decrease muscle soreness
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Increased energy levels
  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Speed up recovery time

 You don’t have to be a ballerina to have a flexible and limber body anybody can do it. It’s time for you to take your physical fitness to the next level.  Pace yourself.  Don’t try and do too much before your body is ready for it.  You have to crawl before you walk.  A marathoner that can easily run ten miles or more at a time could once only run one mile at a time when they were first starting out.  Keep this in mind when starting to introduce stretching into your exercise routine.  Don’t try and do too much too earlier.  Don’t forget stretching it does a body good and it is important for people of all ages.

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