I have heard that stretching is a good way to burn some calories. I am also looking to become more flexible. But I need a good website that has pictures so I can see how I am suposed to be doing them. I used to have a really good one but I lost it and I can't find it to save my life. lol I am also wondering, is stretching a good way to help me lose weight along with the other exercising I do? Thanx for any info!
I know a lot of people will chastise me for saying the following, but it is what I truly believe, along with a lot of new research: stretching does nothing. It does not prevent injury, it could even induce injury if you stretch after a warm-up because you are just cooling your muscles back down and then warming them back up again. My roomate and I have done a "no-stretching" experiment, by working out the past few weeks (cardio as well as weights) and no stretching. The only exception is that I stretch each individual muscle after I resistance train it. I have not been injured or feel sore at all. I cannot truthfully say that I feel better than when I don't stretch, but this is far from an official scientific experiment.
It is true that stretching burns calories, but not nearly as many as doing actual resistance training, that could be done in the same time for 500% and up of the calorie burn, not to mention all the other great benefits of lifting. If stretching is the only thing you like to do, get a pilates video or something, they incorperate stretching with resistance training which I find a nice change of pace sometimes.
I agree with K8TY. Get a Pilates video, or perhaps consider yoga. These are not great calorie burners but if they are your activity of choice then stick with them.
As far as stretching not preventing injuries I will argue with that. I am a bodybuilder and went most of my life injury free. In my late 30s I developed chronic shoulder problems that were only helped by finding the correct set of pre and post workout stretches. In my early 40s, stronger than ever, I started to pull muscles. More cautious warmup and stetching seems to be helping me avoid most of the problems. The latest problem was knee pain that developed a couple of years ago and eventually almost prevented me from doing any squating exercises. After unsuccessful turns with medication and physiotherapy I joined a yoga class. The knee problems were likely a result of a muscular imbalance in my legs acquired from the years of lifting. The yoga, which is 80% stretching, rectified this problem after a few weeks and 4 months later I have the flexibility back from my early 20s. Maybe a young person can get away with no stretching for a few years but I think it is a must do for the serious trainer once you get older.
Good luck Dawnie! Don't forget resistance and cardio though. Muscular bodies burn way more calories than softer ones, even if you never use a bike or treadmill.