Our bodies are flexible. But it is designed to be flexible. We all must have the ability to bend and reach for something we dropped on the floor. We must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. We must be able to reach for that book we want to read from the top shelf.
These are simple movements, Nothing spectacular about them, we merely stretched out a bit to reach the object. However, if you have difficulties in performing such simple motions, then you have to stretch your limits (literally). You may already require 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 movement involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs in any given direction.
How Does One Do the Stretching?
Stretching is fairly easy. As mentioned at the start of this article, it is involved in the normal activities. Stretching should be done by everyone regardless of age.
However the ability to stretch is impacted by age as your joints tend to tighten which restricts your limbs movements. This can very well interrupt an active lifestyle.
Reinforcing the importance of stretching and why stretching regularly, as part of a routine is very important.
Stretching can be done everyday. It can be incorporated in to your lifestyle while doing your daily activities. It does not require much of your time.
Stretching should be done as part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good preparation for a more intense activity.
A lot of athletes will perform their stretches in a sitting position on the floor by extending their legs and touching the tips of their toes with their hands.
Most athletes would do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Actually, most trainers require their athletes to really do the stretching before playing. The ideal amount of time to stretch is 10 minutes. This will give the body enough time to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous exercise. Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching the exercise to 30 minutes or more will wear out the body. This will not be favorable if one is preparing for a game.
What Are the Benefits of Stretching?
1. Increase the Range of Movement
It is important to regularly be doing stretching exercises, since the length of the muscles and the tendons are also increased over time. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move more freely.
2. Increased Ability to Perform Skills
When you have a wide range of movement, everything you do in life that requires body movements will be easier . For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. Stretching routines will help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.
3. Injury Prevention
One can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. 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. Reduce Muscle Tension
When your muscles are used during regular exercise with stretches beforehand they are more unlikely to contract. Regular stretching and exercise that involves the use of your muscles will definitely help to reduce any muscle pain related issues.
5. Enhance Energy
Regular stretches enables you to move more freely enhancing your overall energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, since you will be aware of how tense your body is it will allow you to gauge the limits of your body and what it is capable of doing without pushing it too far at any given time.
6. Reduces Cholesterol
Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching routines, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done in conjunction with a healthy diet. This will help prevent and even reverse the hardening of the arteries, reducing your chance of coronary diseases.
Incorporating stretching in to your everyday lifestyle is easy once you get in to a habit. It has benefits that are hard to refuse! It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.