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Woman uses weighted bar to stretch at Gold's Gym in Wilmington (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — “You don’t feel that tightness that you normally would, coming in from standing on your legs all day,” said health expert Evonne Varady.

When you’re going to the gym, it’s easy to just head for the weights or cardio equipment right as you walk in, but many people forget an essential first step to any workout: stretching.

“So we do come into the gym on a daily basis to make ourselves healthy, and I feel that probably 80 percent of people, we forget the stretching part, and that is just as important as working out every day,” said Varady.

Stretching is very important to loosen up your muscles and prevent injuries while you’re pumping iron.

Most gyms even have tools to assist you while stretching, like foam rollers, stability balls, and weighted bars.

Stretching should not take up much of your time at the gym.

“Stretching before your workouts you should use, I would say, about 10 to 15 minutes, just depending on what area you are training that day,” said Varady.

Loosening up your muscles can be especially vital the older you get.

“Stretching is good, as I’m getting older. I find that stretching, I should enhance that in the beginning of my workouts. Just lets all those muscles release,” said Varady.

So taking a little time to stretch when you arrive at the gym can mean a world of difference to your workout.

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