Why you need to make stretching part of your everyday routine
The body is flexible. It’s designed to be able to bend, flex and stretch. You should be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You should be able to apply sunscreen to your own back. You should be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf.
These are simple activities. Nothing grand about them, you merely stretched out a bit. However, if have difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you maybe you need to stretch your limits. You need a stretching program.
What Is stretching?
Stretching is simply the act of extending to full length the body or simply a part of it. This activity involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs.
How does one do stretching?
Stretching is fairly easy. As mentioned, it is involved in your normal everyday activities and can be done by any people, regardless of age.
However the extent of stretching and flexing differs. The muscles tighten as a person ages. The range of joint movements can be minimized. That is why as we grow older, bending or flexing becomes more limited, which can hinder an on-the-go lifestyle. This is why stretching regularly, as part of your routine is very important.
Simple stretches can be done every day. They can easily be incorporated into your lifestyle and daily activities. They do not require much of your time.
Stretching exercises can also be done while training. In fact, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good warm-up and preparation for the more energetic activity you are about to commence.
A simple stretching exercise is the sit and reach, where you sit on the floor, extend your legs and reach the tips of your feet with the tips of your hand.
The ideal length of time for stretching exercises is 10 minutes. This gives the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, whilst preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.
What are the benefits of stretching?
1. Increase the range of movement
As you do stretching exercises, the length of the muscles and the tendons are increased. This helps to increase the range of your movements, meaning the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place.
2. Increased ability to perform skills
When you have a wide range of movement, you are able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. A wider range of movement will also help you if you want to start a new sport or improve in the sports you already take part in.
3. Injury prevention
Stretching helps prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.
4. Reduces muscle tension
If the muscles are given regular exercise and stretching, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely help reduce muscle pain or problems.
5. Enhances energy
Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, as you know that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.
6. Reduces cholesterol
Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This could prevent and even reverse the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand.
Stretching has benefits you can’t say no to. And it doesn’t take much to incorporate stretching into your everyday activities. After all, your fitness is everything, so you should do what it takes to keep your body healthy and fit.
Now, we want to hear from you.
Do you agree that stretching is an important part of any fitness routine?
Have you got any great stretching exercises that work for you?
Let us know, right now, in the comments.
If you want extra help to feel fit, healthy and in great shape why not give Combat Arts a call? We are the specialists in over-40 fitness training. Email us now to enquire about availability in our small group training classes or personal 1-2-1 sessions.