Stretching Your Body and Mind
As if it's not already difficult adding in resistance training, cardio, dieting and breathing... Now you want me to stretch too?
I know our weeks are jam packed with long drawn out 'to do' lists that never seem to end.
However, the most important parts of your weekly routine is to devote at least 5 hours to take care of the machine that gets you through it. That machine is your amazing and extraordinary body. I stretch at least 5 times a week as I know the importance of de-stressing and elongating the muscle tissue. It helps me a great deal and I'd like it to help you as well which is why I've add it into our weekly classes.
Below you'll read a bit about what stretching is and why it's important. Hopefully it will spur you to want to add a stretching routine into your day.
Why it's Important?
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. We need this flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. This way we have the opportunity to feel less pain on a daily basis. You may think of stretching as something performed only by runners or gymnasts. We all need to stretch in order to protect our mobility.
Top Reasons to Stretch
Can calm the mind, provide a mental break
Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion.
Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains.
Work toward a daily discipline of basic stretching or at least three or four times per week. Stretching your shoulders, neck, and lower back are a great place to start. You could begin by joining a Yoga or Pilates class. They offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension physically and mentally.
Why Does Stretching Hurt Sometimes?
If you are feeling pain while stretching, you may be stretching too intensely.
Stretch slowly and ease into the stretch. Make sure to breath deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Stop at the point you feel extreme "tightness". Breathing will help your body relax your muscles in turn increasing the range of motion.
Different Styles of Stretching:
Many of us spend a great deal of time sitting down which can leads to many different physical pains. Sitting over eight hours a day for instance results in tight hamstrings. This can make it harder to extend your leg or straighten your knee, which inhibits walking. All types of issues come up from sitting too long. Back pain, to knee pain, to hip pain and so many others have been a challenge for so many. All of these can be reduced by simply stretching in bed in the morning or at night. Simple full body stretches and hugging your knees to your chest. All of these can help reduce injuries in the future.
Here's to elongating our health!