The Benefits of Stretching
If you think about it, it’s amazing the way our muscles interconnect and work together!
Most of us use all of our muscles during the course of our daily routine, so there’s less of a chance for any muscle to waste away, or atrophy.
Most exercises are designed for building and maintaining muscle, which improves our strength. So why is stretching them so important? Read on to learn why stretching our muscles is important for maintaining a healthy wellness regimen.
Increases Flexibility – Stretching lengthens the muscle, helps joints move through their full range of motion, and enables muscle groups to work together most efficiently.
Decreases Risk of Pain and Injury – Warmed up muscles are less likely to cramp, tear or strain if they are adequately stretched. Stretching helps relieve pain from muscle tension, especially low back pain.
Improves Performance – Stretching enhances athletics, dance performance, recreational sports and other activities.
Improves Breathing – Shallow breathers find it easier to take deeper breaths when stretching the upper torso and ribcage muscles; deep breathing helps calm the mind.
Increases Neuromuscular Coordination – Neuromuscular coordination is the ability of the central nervous system (CNS) to control the muscles in the execution of multi-limb functional movements.
Increases Circulation – Stretching increases blood supply and nutrients to the muscles and joint structures. Improves Posture and Alignment – Stretching elongates the muscles for good posture and improves balance.
Static Stretching vs. Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic Stretching – Moving with a Stretch
Dynamic stretching is particularly helpful for those who engage in sports. Think in terms of a golf swing or swimming strokes. The movement performed at normal speed with cold muscles could cause injury. Begin with a slow, fluid motion, then increase intensity and speed.
Static Stretching – Holding a Stretch
Static stretching is best achieved by placing minimal strain on joints and muscles. Stretch to the point of mild discomfort and avoid pain. Begin by relaxing the muscle, then stretch and hold for 15 seconds and up to 60 seconds. Remember to breathe normally. Avoid bouncing during a stretch or you may tear the muscle.
How Much Stretching is Enough?
Stretching for at least 10-15 minutes, 3-6 days a week is optimal to maintain flexibility. If you can’t seem to find 15 minutes in your day for a dedicated stretch routine, try these quickie stretches throughout your day. They take less than a minute but have great ongoing impact!
- Stand up, and up, and up! Keep stretching to your maximum height before walking for great posture.
- Stand, reach up and stretch backwards to loosen back muscles.
- Stand, reach arms overhead, and bend from side to side to loose shoulder and back muscles.
- While talking on the phone or at the computer waiting for an app to load, gently push your head from side to side to relieve tight neck and shoulder muscles.
- From standing or sitting position, alternately “clench” both sides of your buttock muscles.
- Stand and gently swing each leg forward and backwards, then side to side to relax tight buttockmuscles.
- If you stand behind a counter at work for long periods, extend one leg back while leaning against the counter and stretch your calf muscles.When you incorporate these easy stretches into your day, your body will begin letting you know when your shoulders are tight or calf muscles need stretching.Good to Know…Safety – Warm up the muscles first!
- A great time for stretching is immediately after a hot bath or shower.Relieve soreness – There’s nothing better than a hot Epsom bath to relieve tight, tense and sore muscles. You can apply Tiger Balm to relieve a sore muscle. Topical CBD products have also been proven to penetrate deep into sore muscles and joints for pain relief. Major muscle groups – Focus on stretching the major muscle groups (glutes, quadriceps, back, chest and hamstrings) and then your smaller muscle groups (such as shoulders, triceps, biceps, and calves). Don’t forget to give equal time to both sides of your body! This is especially true when stretching an injury on one side. Remember that many activities such as playing tennis, bowling, and carrying luggage utilize certain muscles on one side. Beginning a new sport – When beginning a new sport or activity, you will be overworking certain muscles. Kickboxing, tennis, bowling…all require an easy-does-it approach.Chronic Conditions and Injuries – Those who have a chronic physical condition or injury are best helped by following the advice and coaching from a physician or physical therapist.Children, Adults, and Seniors – Everyone can benefit from regular stretching, especially seniors. Muscles gradually diminish when we age, so stretching helps maintain an optimal range of motion and reduces the risk of injury and falling.*****When we are healthy we see things more clearly, our sense of humor improves, we feel better, we sleep better, we even look better. We believe the family of Healthy Wellness products may help you find this balance.
We are a small, Texas based CBD and Health Products company formed in 2016. We decided to get into the health and wellness space because of the many challenges we face to stay healthy these days. By offering integral products and informative articles, we believe that we can help people add a little bit of ‘healthy’ into their lives.