The importance of stretching
Posted on 05 October 2014
The Importance of Stretching
The 3 key areas of physical fitness include cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility. And yet many people overlook flexibility. Stretching has many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing, and shouldn’t be forgotten. Our ambassador and chiropractor Vibeke Murphy runs us through the importance of stretching. It a part of your health and fitness routine that should not be forgotten and we recommend stretching daily (bonus points for using a foam roller) during the reboot.
Stretching increases the flexibility of your muscles and the mobility of your joints. It promotes better muscle coordination, which allows us to perform physical tasks more efficiently. Flexible muscles also recover more quickly after exercise, as they’re more receptive to the uptake of glycogen. This in turn helps to power your next workout or task.
By stretching out your body regularly, you can improve your posture as well as lengthen muscles that can become tight with overuse. And the benefits of stretching are not just physical! It’s been shown that stretching helps calm the mind and allows people to recharge mentally as well as physically.
So now that you know the why of stretching, what about the how? Here are the 6 rules of stretching:
- Always stretch warm muscles (that means after a workout)
- Focus on the muscles that need the most help
- Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds
- Work on a specific area if the body when you stretch, rather than trying to stretch the whole body each time.
- Aim to stretch a few times a week, and more frequently for tight, overused muscles.
- Stretch to a level of tightness in the muscle, never to a level of pain.
Want more? Check out these 3 simple neck stretches.