The Essential Benefits of Stretching
Ever tried stretching? No, it isn't something that only gymnasts do. Many people stand to gain from it, as it improves muscle and joint health, which is much-needed in today's sedentary norm. Give it a shot today!
When you think of "stretching," you typically envision a gymnast preparing for their performance or an athlete getting warmed up for a match. But did you know that many more people can benefit from the quick, light, and simple exercises these people do to keep themselves flexible and healthy? According to Harvard Health Publishing, stretching is an activity everyone should do. These routines keep muscles in tip-top shape, healthy and strong. In addition, stretching helps maintain or even optimize the range of motion allowed for your joints! When you neglect this, like many do with their sedentary lifestyles, sudden intense physical activity puts them at risk of injury. This is because the joints haven't been able to get used to getting tightened, stretched, and torn.
Ever seen a gymnast do a full split? Typically, that isn’t possible for just anyone to do. Through stretching and other physical activities, they can physically modify their joints, muscles, and bones, making them stronger than before. But don’t think you need to be a professional gymnast to gain the benefits from stretching, as anyone and everyone should learn how to do these exercises to improve their joint and muscle health.
What else should I know about stretching?
Stretching should be done regularly. After all, stretching once won’t make you an Olympic-level athlete. Time has to be taken to allow your muscles and tendons to repair themselves after some physical activity. This is how muscle and joint strengthening and growth happen.
Despite the simple-looking nature of stretches, it’s necessary to go through proper warming up and preparation before subjecting your muscles and bones to above-average physical activity. Start by going for a light jog to get the blood flowing and muscles warm. Aside from this, it’s also important to look at and study the stretches themselves. Proper execution of any physical exercise is imperative for maximal muscle activation and minimal risk of injury. This way, you stay safe by always knowing how the procedures are correctly done.
When doing the stretches, don’t chicken out mid-pose. Try holding the pose or stretching with all your ability for around 30 seconds to a full minute. This is how your muscles can get fully stimulated and receive an adequate amount of force, enough to facilitate muscle and joint growth.
What stretches should I try?
When starting out, you should look for and pick exercises and stretching poses that don’t require too much movement. It’s important to ease yourself into the activity and habit of stretching. Simple poses like the standing hamstring stretch, where you stand up straight and reach down to your calves, can help stimulate muscle groups that sedentary people don’t typically use. Other poses, like the side bend stretch, have a more yoga style. Some poses call for a yoga mat, as you must do so while lying on the floor. This is a bit trickier to get used to, but once you get it, you can work it out whenever and wherever.
Stretching is a simple, quick, fulfilling physical activity that helps people maintain joint, muscle, and bone health. Aside from gymnasts and athletes, regular people gain a lot from stretching, which places much-needed physical activity within their routines. Try a few stretches, and you’re sure to get hooked!