one thing that many people either forget, or don't do correctly is stretching. stretching helps increase flexibility, lengthens muscles, reduces risk of injury, and helps with relaxation. don't stretch when your muscles are cold. hold a stretch for 30 seconds, without any bouncing. if it hurts, back off a little-stretching shouldn't cause pain. always stretch your back, abs, and legs-we use them every day. walk for 5 min, then stretch, then continue your workout, that way you are loosened, warmed, and less likely to suffer an injury. stretching is important to overall fitness as cardio or weight training, but because it is relaxing, many people overlook or rush through it.