There are many benefits to stretching!
Stretching can improve your posture, increase your flexibility, improve mobility, improve joint range of motion, and can decrease tension in muscles and connective tissues.
When you stretch a muscle it goes into a lengthened state. When you flex a muscle it will go into a shortened state. Sometimes our muscles become so wound up and tight that even when they are in a rested state they remain in a shortened-tight position; when this happens it is called hypertonic muscle tissue.
One of the major complaints from the clients who come into my office is that they have sore, stiff, tight muscles that need to be released. Stretching- and forcing those tight hypertonic muscles into a lengthened state (and out of their normal-tightened position) can release the tension.
Stretching Safety Tips:
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, it is very important that you warm up before you start stretching. You can do any type of cardio exercise such as jogging or power-walking, for example. Warming up gets your blood flowing and raises your muscle temperature. Just a few minutes of aerobic exercise should be enough to get you warmed up. Hold each stretch for 90 seconds each- and do 4 reps. You can hold the stretches longer if you feel it takes you longer to relax into the stretch.
At the bottom of this page are photos of different stretches for various muscle groups of the body that I have personally found beneficial. You can click on photos to make them bigger and read descriptions!
If you have health concerns, you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist regarding which stretches and exercises would be safe for you to do at home. I am not intending to prescribe stretching or exercises to anyone, the purpose of this section is purely informational and clients can use this information at their own discretion.
Quote of the Month:
"Difficult roads often lead to Beautiful Destinations," Author Unkno