One of the most overlooked aspects of exercise is stretching. A before workout stretch is paramount to help avoid injuries, improve your flexibility and increase your range of joint motion. There are dozens of scientific studies backing evidence of the long-term and short-term benefits of stretching.
The Importance of Stretching
Habitual stretching keeps your muscles limber and your body healthy, not staying up with your stretching will cause your muscles to retract and tighten. A majority of jobs require you to remain sedentary for your entire workday, which without proper stretching during breaks will cause back, neck, and leg problems. Not stretching before a workout can lead to injury from pulling or straining a muscle, while also leaving muscles tight and putting you at risk of extreme joint pain.
The Benefits of Stretching
As noted above a good stretching of the body helps prevent exercise and work-related injuries, but those are only some of the benefits that can be procured by regular and consistently compounding stretches. This is due to the increase in blood flow that stretching provides your body, helps you be more flexible and can even boosting your stamina improving your overall performance. Stretching during your breaks is a good idea too, as it increases your energy level and I personally find that it helps me get back on track to attack work-related issues with renewed vigor.
A balanced stretching supports improving your posture. Poor posture has been directly linked to low self-esteem issues, depression and chronic stress, all of which are forms of mental tension. When paired with breath regulating light exercise, such as yoga, experts say that observed mental tension levels plummet!
- Don’t push yourself too hard. It isn’t a contest, know your limits.
- If you have physical injuries you should consult your physician on what stretches are good for you.
- Don’t bounce when stretching, unless your physician or physical therapist recommends it.
- Stretching after a workout is good for you too!
- Remember to balance your stretching, match what you do on the right to the left.
Taking the time for a correctly executed stretching routine does wonder for the body. Take five to ten minutes every three hours to do a quick stretch, keep your muscles from tensing up and reduce stress. Trust me: the truth of stretching is no stretching of the truth.
Eric has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2010. He is an expert healer with an alternative approach, and he is dedicated to helping my clients move through a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual transitions in the most efficient and transformative way possible. Now he coaches bodyworkers and health solopreneurs in their journey to fulfillment. Join expert therapists and experience massage community with his Facebook group: The Happy, Successful Massage Therapist.