“I don’t get cramps in my legs anymore”.
“I can actually zip up the back of my dress myself!”
“I don’t feel as sore as I used to after working out, I seem to recover much quicker”.
This is the one area of exercise routines that tends to be over looked, however it is just as important as cardio and resistance training.
As we get older, and when doing resistance and cardio training, our muscles tighten and our range of motion becomes limited. This can hold us back from an active lifestyle and makes simple day-to-day activities like picking things up from the floor or tying shoelaces, a struggle.
When should I stretch and how often?
A regular stretching routine can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier. Anyone can learn to stretch, regardless of how flexible you are. If you are doing resistance training you can stretch in between sets, it feels good and saves you time. Instead of sitting on the couch in the evening watching the TV, sit on the floor and do some stretches.
Hold each stretch for at least 30-40 seconds and repeat two or three times. Any less and you will not receive the full benefits from holding the stretch.
How does it help avoid injuries?
One of the greatest benefits of stretching is increasing your range of motion in your joints, which means your limbs and joints can move further with less risk of injury.
Is it really necessary to stretch after a workout?
Stretching after a workout can also aid recovery as it reduces muscle tension and soreness. It ensures that your muscles and tendons are in good working order – the better the condition the less likely they’ll become injured.
Can stretching really improve my posture?
Tight and tense muscles can contribute to poor posture that can affect the functioning of our internal organs and put strain on our back. Stretching the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep better alignment and improve your posture. Done properly, stretching helps to relax tense muscles that arise from negative stress and leave you with a greater feeling of well being.