March 31 2017
Stretching is one of those things that we all should do, but almost none of us actually do. Sure, maybe we stretch for 15 to 30 seconds before and after a run or a maybe a few morning arm reaches while we yawn… but that is not nearly enough. While that small stretch before your run is good and might loosen you up a little bit… you know it’s nothing compared to what you should do.
As we age our bodies become less and less flexible as that happens, we lose the amount of mobility that our bodies have. We can counter and even reverse those effects by delegating a small amount of time each day to stretching your muscles. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time out of your day and it doesn’t need to be done in tandem with any other physical exercises (even though I do recommend doing daily exercises). You can spare 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to reach up to the sky as high as you can go, and then bend down as far as you can go without bending your knees. Always make sure to take big, slow breaths while doing your stretches. Try sitting on the floor and reaching as far as you can to grab your toes without bending your knees. If you can grab them, do it and try touching your forehead to your knees without bending them. Also try spreading out your arms and legs, like an X, and touch your right hand to your left foot do the same with your left hand to the right foot. Always remember to take big slow breaths while you are performing your stretches, get lots of oxygen flowing through your body…. You need it.
A simple few minutes of stretching every day can greatly improve your body's range of motion, but there are a lot more benefits that you can gain by stretching. By making stretching a part of your life you will regain your body’s mobility, improve circulation throughout the body, revitalize energy, improve posture, improve flexibility, relieve stress, reduces back pain and one very important benefit…..help to prevent injuries. The amount of injuries that we all suffer from as a result of having stiff bodies is outstanding. You can prevent a whole spectrum of body aches and pains with a few daily stretches.
Make stretching a part of who you are. Your body will thank you.