Stretching and its importance

Hi Friends of Oompf, this is Alvan. Today I will be talking about the importance of stretching.




Stretching


Regular stretching comes with many benefits however, not known to many. Not only can stretching help increase your flexibility, which is an important factor of fitness, but it can also improve your posture, reduce stress and body aches, and more.


Main types

1. Static stretches involve holding a stretch in a comfortable position for a period of time, typically between 10 and 30 seconds. This form of stretching is most beneficial after you exercise.


2. Dynamic stretches are active movements that cause your muscles to stretch, but the stretch is not held in the end position. These stretches are usually done before exercise to get your muscles ready for movement.


Benefits


Increases your flexibility

Regular stretching can help increase your flexibility, which is crucial for your overall health. Not only can improved flexibility help you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also help delay the reduced mobility that can come with aging.


Increases range of motion

Being able to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement. Stretching on a regular basis can help increase your range of motion. With better range of motion, you can execute the exercises you use in an exercise routine with better posture and movement thus leading to more improvement over time.


Improves performance

Performing dynamic stretches prior to physical activities has been shown to help prepare your muscles for the activity. It may also help improve your performance in an athletic event or exercise.


Shorter Recovery Time

Performing stretches on a regular basis may improve your circulation. Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness after workout.


Improves posture

Muscle imbalances are common and can lead to poor posture. A combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment. That, in turn, may help improve your posture.


Stress Relief

When you’re experiencing stress, there’s a good chance your muscles are tense. That’s because your muscles tend to tighten up in response to physical and emotional stress. Focus on areas of your body where you tend to hold your stress, such as your neck, shoulders, and upper back.


What happens if you do not stretch?

If you do not stretch regularly, the main negative impact is that it reduces mobility in the joints and muscles, which increases your risk for injury especially when you are working out often. It also affects your posture of how you move in your daily lives as well.


Before embarking on a stretching routine, you need to take note of some things.


1. If you’re new to a regular stretching routine, take it slow. Just like other forms of physical activity, your body needs time to get used to the stretches you’re performing


2. Don’t bounce. Years ago, ballistic stretching was thought to be the best way to increase flexibility. Now, experts suggest you avoid bouncing unless these types of stretches have been recommended to you by a doctor or physical therapist.


3. Don’t stretch beyond the point of comfort. While it’s normal to feel some tension when stretching a muscle, you should never feel pain. If the area you are stretching starts to hurt, release it till it does not hurt.


4. Don’t overdo it. Like other forms of exercise, stretching puts stress on your body. If you’re stretching the same muscle groups multiple times a day, you risk over- stretching and causing damage.


5. Don’t go into your stretches cold. Cold muscles are not as fluid, which makes stretching a lot more difficult. The best time to stretch is after you work out, but if you’re not exercising before performing your stretches, consider warming up for 5 to 10 minutes with some light exercises.


Basic stretching routine

I have prescribed a basic stretching routine for after workout and during the day when you are not exercising or when you are free to do it. Feel free to try it out.


Click here to see the stretches. 

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