You may be one of the guilty. You head out for a run and do the quickie stretch before you start out or you may do a simplified stretch when you are finished. Or, you’ve giggled at the people at the gym who take what seems like an hour stretching every part of their body.
The science is there that stretching is just as important to a person’s body as exercise is. That’s write, even stretching before a bench press or game of pick-up basketball is key to maintaining your body’s overall good health.
1. As you age, stretching will maintain your flexibility and even balance, two things that start to go as the body grows older. Keeping the muscles stretched will also avoid the aches and pains of a stiff body.
2. Provides protection against injury when working out, exercising or even mild walking. The stretching helps to get blood to the muscles so there is less of a chance that injury will happen during exercise.
3. Prevents muscle soreness after workouts. The blood flowing to your muscles via stretching can help alleviate soreness post exercise.
4. Stretching can also be relaxing and soothing. Yoga is the ultimate in stretching and can be a soothing way to start or end a day. Practicing a daily stretch routine can add some much needed calm and mediation time to your day.
Here is a quick round up of important stretches to do every morning even if you aren’t exercising that day. They include:
1. Shoulder stretch,
2. Calf stretch,
3. Runner’s stretch (for the hamstrings),
4. Tricep stretch, and
5. Butterfly stretch.
Stay flexible, limber, and calm by taking 15 to 30 minutes a day to stretch the key parts of your body that are either used in exercise or that get no activity. Your body will smile!
--- Kevin Feather