Why stretch? Stretching helps maintain your range of motion and flexibility in your joints. It helps to keep your muscles flexible and strong and will allow for better performance in your daily activities, and your fitness activities by keeping you mobile and independent with better posture and fewer aches and pains.
And because stretching doesn’t give us visible rewards it’s easy to forget. You should add stretching to your general health regime, about 3 – 4 days a week, but adding stretching everyday is ideal. Your focus should be on stretching your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps, and ultimately include your shoulders, neck and lower back.
It is also important to stretch while at work. Too much sitting may have several negative health effects, so set an alarm, get up and stretch your glutes, hip flexors and your spine. This will also help the 3pm slump at work.
Stretch AFTER your workout and not before. It was a common accepted practice to static stretch prior to your workout, but research has shown that stretching after provides the most benefit, your muscles recover quicker and you may avoid injury. Note though, it’s best to stretch right after your workout, holding the stretch to the point of resistance, and hold (do not bounce) for a minimum of 30 seconds. You should be stretching the muscles that you used during your workout.
Before your workout use dynamic or active stretching. If you’re walking, start out slowly and then increase your speed after about 5 minutes. If you’re playing tennis, do some lunges both forwards and sideways. Jumping jacks, butt kickers and high knees are also great dynamic stretches prior to exercising.
Improve flexibility, slash stress, sleep better, improve your form – add stretching to your day.
There are so many reasons to start adding stretching to your fitness regime. At One On One Fitness Natatia will be happy to help you with the suggested stretches for your daily and fitness activities. Contact Natatia about starting your stretching routine and get strong, happy and healthy!