Stretching is important. Not just before exercise, stretching is meant for every day. When you wake up and before you go to bed. Stretching has revolutionised the way my body feels.
I suffer with creaky bones. My joints click and it’s quite often that I can’t stand up tall in the mornings. I’m basically a 23-year-old in a 72-year-old’s body. I started looking into ways to fix this: I did some googling and decided that I’d try stretching as a way to improve my posture and the achiness of my bones. It worked.
The Benefits of Stretching
· Reduced muscle tension
· Better muscle coordination
· Increased circulation of the blood
· Increased energy levels as a result of better circulation
· Increased range of movement in the joints
Stretching is vital for people of all ages. One of the beautiful things about it is that everyone can do it – from your five-year-old niece to your great-granddad and it doesn’t take up a lot of your time (we’re all busy people). Ten minutes a day is a small price to pay for all those benefits.
Flexibility is definitely the biggest positive for me and it’s something we all want. I know I want to be able to do the splits, and one of my many aims in life is to learn to Pike. Stretching is a way that we can achieve that, gradually and safely.
Stretching before exercise is definitely vital, though, it can loosen up our muscles and increase our range of motion. This means we are less likely to injure ourselves when we push ourselves just a little too further. Post-exercise stretching can also help workout recovery, help lessen muscle soreness, and ensure that your muscles are in good working order. Feeling the burn is fine, but being able to walk the day after a heavy workout is better. The more conditioned your muscles are, the better they can handle exercise, and the less likely that they'll become injured.
Stretching comes naturally to all of us. You might notice that if you have been sitting in a particular position for a long time, you stretch unconsciously. Sitting at a desk all day certainly makes me need to twist and bend. It feels like a little release! In addition to that good feeling, stretching daily will produce large gains in flexibility and joint movement. Be kind to your muscles and they will be kind to you!
Quick and Easy Stretches
· This is a beginners guide to stretching
· 5 minute stretch routine
· Guide on how to do the splits (and it’s set in front of Tower Bridge)
However, it is important not to stretch following muscle strains or ligament sprains and definitely not when sharp pains are felt in the joints or muscles. Let's not get hurt, people!
Images via Tambako the Jaguar for BitchBuzz