Stretching is one of the most effective ways to prevent injury and to increase flexibility. Flexibility is the degree to which the individual muscle will lengthen. As we get older, our muscles begin to shorten and tighten, restricting flexibility. This restricted flexibility causes our movement to become slower, tighter with less range of motion and susceptible to muscle strains, ligament sprains and other soft tissue injuries.
Lets look at some benefits of Stretching:
Stretching increases circulation bringing more nourishment to muscles and removal of waste byproducts from your muscles.
Stretching improves posture by relaxing tight muscles that contribute in bad posture.
Stretching improves balance and coordination which lowers the risk for falls.
Stretching can ease lower back pain by alleviating compression/stress on your spine.
Stretching reduces stress by relaxing tense muscles.
Important times to stretch are:
- after you warm up and before you exercise
- after exercise to decrease soreness
- after sitting for long periods of time
- upon waking
*after sitting or sleeping, muscles have stiffened and range of motion is decreased. That is why it is important to slowly get out of your seat or bed instead of quickly.
Follow these stretching tips for maximum benefit and safety:
Warmup Prior To Exercise
Moderate cardiovascular (CV) exercise like brisk walking or running in place for 5 minutes.
Slowly move into your stretch. Once you feel slight tension in the muscle, not pain, hold the position for 15-30 seconds. Avoid bouncing, quick movements or forcing the stretch which can cause injury.
Wait 15 Seconds/Stretch Further
After 15 seconds, your body’s natural stretch inhibiting reflex will relax, allowing you to stretch a little more. Ease a little further into the stretch and hold for another 15 seconds.
Relax, Breath, Stop if you feel pain.
Rolling Strong CDL Wellness Coaches can assist you in an effective stretching routine!