Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibilty and joint range of motion. Stretching activities are an important part of any exercise or rehabilitation program.Which is why I have always spent time to make it part of my programme and that of my clients too.Even if you are not exercising. You SHOULD make time to stretch.
The Benefits of Stretching
Maintaining the full range-of-motion through your joints keeps you in better balance and your muscles work more efficiently. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury.
Increased Flexibility and Joint Range of Motion
Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring. Flexibility tends to diminish as you get older, but you can regain and maintain it.
Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recover time if you’ve had any muscle injuries.
Frequent stretching can help keep your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture. Good posture can minimise discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.
Proper Stretching Technique
Hold Each Stretch for 10 to 30 Seconds
It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches up to 30 seconds That can seem like a long time, so wear a watch or keep an eye on the clock to make sure you’re holding your stretches long enough. You can repeat the stretches 2 or 3 times.
Relax and Breathe Freely
Don’t hold your breath while you’re stretching.
Stretch Both Sides
Make sure your joint range of motion is as equal as possible on each side of your body.
Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears (microtears) in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, potentially making you even less flexible.