It may be the most important and beneficial exercise
there is. It also happens to be the cheapest and the simplest, requiring exactly no equipment, zero floor space and no special clothes.
You may have known that stretching increases flexibility, allows for easier movement and promotes better balance. But did you know it can relieve low-back pain, reduces muscle soreness, promotes relaxation, improves posture, agility and athletic performance? Stretching can also reduce tension, improves circulation, reduces anxiety, stress, and fatigue, improves mental alertness, decreases the risk of injury, makes your work easier, tunes your mind into your body and flat-out makes you feel better naturally!
What Makes Stretching So Great?
Stretching conditions the muscles for exertion and exercise, making every muscle movement more efficient. Sound interesting? At your next visit, ask us for a list of stretches that can help your particular spinal pattern and then apply these simple rules:
- Always warm up your muscles for at least five minutes prior to stretching. A good warm-up might include jogging in place, slow biking or jumping jacks.
- When you start, never bounce or bob. Not only is this less effective than simply “holding” the stretch, but it can also be very dangerous and lead to injuries.
- Always perform each stretching exercise in a slow, controlled manner.
- Exhale as you begin the stretch and then relax and breathe normally throughout the stretch, holding each for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Stretches should feel slightly uncomfortable, to “feel the stretch” in the muscles, not the joints. There should be no acute pain.
- Always complete each stretch for both sides of your body or limb in the same way.
Are you a frequent stretcher? Comment below and tell us how regular stretching has positively influenced your life!