It's one of those simple ideas that is so easy to do. But because it's easy to do, it's also easy NOT to do! I'm talking about stretching your muscles everyday. Read on to see just how incredible this basic practice is.
A study conducted by the University of Milan found that three months of stretching every single day could actually help to prevent heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.
And if that wasn't enough...
"After just three weeks of regular stretching you can see a noticeable difference in how someone holds themselves, how upright they are and how their head, neck and shoulders sit in relation to each other" said Lexie Williamson, author of The Stretching Bible.
Incredible! But here are even MORE benefits...
improves overall health
improves mental health and clarity
increases flexibility and range of motion
keep muscles strong and healthy
improves balance and muscle control
improves physical performance
increases blood flow to the muscles
calms your mind
It goes without saying that without regular stretching, the muscles shorten and become tight, along with the opposite of all of the benefits just listed.
So, where do you start? Simple... by understanding what kinds of stretching is needed and what exactly to do.
The most common forms of stretches are static and dynamic:
Static stretches involve holding a stretch in a comfortable position for a certain amount of time, typically between 10 and 30 seconds. This form of stretching is most beneficial after you exercise.
Dynamic stretches are active movements that cause your muscles to stretch, but the stretch is not held in the end position. These stretches are usually done before exercise to get your muscles ready for movement.
It's important to use correct technique. Come in to the office and we'll give you a quick 15-minute home stretching lesson, combined with video instruction for each stretch. It's super inexpensive and will be worth every penny!
It may have taken you many months to get those tight muscles in the first place, so you're not going to be perfectly flexible after a few sessions. Be patient with yourself as you incorporate daily stretching in to your life. If you can't do daily, even 3 times a week will be helpful. However, the more you stretch, the quicker you'll feel better and be stronger. It's worth the effort, especially as you age.
So, make the commitment to yourself and reap the benefits of daily stretching. It's not a stretch of the imagination, we promise!