You are only as young as your spine is flexible.
If you think you only need to stretch after a strenuous workout session, you better think twice. Stretching is essential for overall mobility and for keeping joints and tissues healthy. When we don’t stretch enough, our muscles get weak and tight, and they can even shrink. Stretching helps you prevent these issues and improve your posture. As such, we should do it on a daily basis and incorporate it as part of our well-being routine. The more we practice it regularly, the more flexible we become. That’s the cumulative effect of stretching!
|Increases flexibility||Reduces pain||Increases range of motion|
|Decreases injury risk||Increased sense of self-efficacy||Improves physical performance|
|Improves posture||Reduces stress||Improves blood circulation|
The best time to start stretching is today because you probably spend a good amount of time sitting in front of your computer or commuting to work. It’s also best to give your body a light warm-up before stretching, just to make sure your blood flows freely throughout your body and to prevent any undesired injuries. Try to focus your stretching exercises on areas that are key to movement. These include your calves, hamstrings, pelvis, quadriceps, shoulders, neck, and lower back. Take this opportunity to connect with your body by paying mindful attention to the way you perform each stretch.
My favorite stretching routine:
Hold each pose for 10 to 30 seconds. It is normal to feel tension around the areas you are working with, but you should feel no pain. Whenever you feel pain, please stop stretching and consult either a physical therapist or a doctor as soon as possible. It is essential that you perform your exercises with full attention and that you avoid bouncing as that can lead to injuries. Finally, remember that you must be willing to invest your time and patience in the performance of your stretching routine. You won’t gain instant flexibility after only one session and your muscles can be really tight, to begin with.
Stretching is great for both the mind and the body. It provides us a way to reduce overall pain and increase our fitness. Although it requires time and patience on our part, it pays off to have a regular, if not daily, stretching routine. Once you start incorporating it into your well-being routine, you will feel lighter and more flexible. I have experienced this by performing the stretching exercises suggested in the YouTube video I shared above. I hope you give it a try and let me know about your results.
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