Two people in running clothes stretching over stadium seats.

Stretch Your Way To A Healthier Life

Although stretching is an important component of exercise and fitness, it is often overlooked. It is performed not only by runners but also by individuals like us. Some people fail to stretch because they think it takes too much time.

The good news is, stretching only takes a few minutes and has a lot of benefits like:

  • Improved posture – It helps alleviate tightness in tense muscles and promotes a proper alignment of the spine.
  • More flexibility – It helps muscles get ready for activity by improving a person’s range of motion.
  • Increased circulation – A good stretch will increase the blood flow sent to muscles, which can lead to a faster healing process.
  • Improved coordination – Loosening your joints by stretching encourages smoother movements, contributing to a better sense of balance.
  • Decreased stress – Stress often leads to physical discomfort and stretching will help resolve these issues.

Stretching correctly is crucial to properly prepare for any activity. Muscles respond best to stretching when warmed up, so it’s a good idea to take a brisk walk first. All it takes to warm up the upper body are some simple arm movements.

For best results, hold stretches for at least 30 seconds. Avoid bouncing, irregular, jerky stretches. Start off slowly. DO NOT hold your breath. Remember, stretching should not be painful. If a movement causes pain, ease up on it or stop and consult your therapist.

Stretch Your Schedule To Include Flexibility!

Certain activities can cause discomfort without prior stretching, especially simple household tasks. If you have plans to tackle housework, take part in an aerobics class, or simply take a quick walk during your lunch break – your body will thank you later.

Failing to stretch before moving furniture can be particularly uncomfortable. When confronting a heavy sofa or stubborn television, stretching will assist in alleviating any pain that may result. Remember, “a few minutes of stretching before you play can save you a lifetime of pain.”