Anybody who takes exercise seriously knows that proper stretching and flexibility are paramount for an effective exercise routine and a healthy body. Without stretching, not only can you seriously hurt yourself during exercise and sport, but your body won’t be nearly as healthy.
There is much more to fitness than breaking a sweat and developing target muscle groups. Flexibility is a key aspect to fitness, and stretching will help you get there.
Stretching keeps our muscles strong and flexible. Without stretching, our muscles tighten up, putting them at a higher risk of injury, muscle damage, and weakness.
To ensure proper joint mobility and to prevent pulling a muscle, it’s recommended that everyone, not just athletes, stretch daily.
Let’s say you’ve been sitting all day and suddenly have to run, or you play a game of basketball with your friends after work. Without proper stretching, the muscles required to run or to help you play basketball will not be prepared for these activities, and you won’t perform nearly as well as you would if you had stretched.
Stretching for the purpose of flexibility is much different than stretching to recover from a workout.
Static stretching can help you stay flexible, especially after a workout. Daily stretching might seem overwhelming if it’s new to you, but don’t worry—you don’t have to stretch every single muscle in your body in order to achieve flexibility.
This goes out to everyone working a desk job. You absolutely must stretch often to prevent muscle weakness, injury, and even headaches.
To stretch during work, stand up once or twice every hour, move your head and neck around, and do some very light neck, shoulder, and back stretches. Hold each stretch position for 10 to 20 seconds. Not only does this benefit your body, but frequent breaks also boost concentration, focus, and memory.
Since your legs literally carry your weight wherever you go, it’s important to stretch your lower body to maintain flexibility.
Committing to a more flexible body requires stretching, as you have now learned. Seeking guidance from professionals who know the body inside and out is an excellent way to make sure you’re utilizing your body to its full potential.
Just like yoga studios, there are studios meant for stretching. Stretch Station in San Diego, California is one such studio, where assisted stretching is provided for anyone who’s interested—from athletes to people who simply want to be healthier.
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