Flexibility is an important part of your exercise program, yet it's often neglected. How often have you gone through your routine and then decided to skip stretching because you're tired or ready to get home?
Stretching your fitness limits, when done right, reduces your weight workload by removing tightness allowing your limbs to move more freely. It carries oxygen to sore muscles and also quickly removes toxins from muscles enhancing muscle recovery from stress, work or injury. Stretching can act as a deep massage technique because it activates muscle fibres during the process.
Although a regular routine of daily stretching is the ideal, stretching can be done just about anywhere, at anytime – while waiting in line at the airport, during a quick break at the office, or even while riding in the car. It is especially valuable right after a good work out or exercises because stretching will allow the muscles to increase blood flow and oxygenation from an increased heart rate creating a literal flushing of toxins right out of your body.
Stretching will increase your flexibility thus maximizing your performance in whatever you do; for example, it can work wonders on bad backs by doing a series of stretches laying flat on your back and then pulling your knee up toward your chest, alternating between one and both knees. Stretching also helps improve your posture as well as enhancing better body alignment. Bottom line, stretching creates a more flexible body; a flexible body are more efficient, enjoys greater range of motion, can be more easily trained to strength and endurance, is less prone to injury, recovers more quickly from workouts or stress, and simply feels better. Stretching is truly relevant throughout your life.
Don’t be too worried about over-stretching; stretching is what we would call the “warming up” process for other types of activity. The muscle can stretch to 1.6 times its length; to go any further would create a lot of pain, so Mother Nature has already solved the problem of going too far in stretching. Remember, if you are experiencing a lot of pain with the stretch then you are over doing it. The trick is consistency and repetition. A good visual to see the benefits of stretching is to take a regular rubber and then gently pull it as far as it will “naturally” go to its maximum range without tearing it – pull it quickly, but not fast avoiding jerky action, stressing the muscles using rapid jerking motions will more times than not break the rubber band. Notice how far you were able to stretch it the first time.
Now, do it again, and repeat this process several times noticing how far you are able to increase the length of the rubber band each time you pull. This is what it is like with your muscles, the more they are stretched, the more you are able to encompass. It is advisable to work out regularly with a reasonable diet. A person can consult with a die titian or a health professional to really help plan a good diet program. It starts by evaluating the lifestyle and the health of the patient before any program can be made. Afterwards, this is thoroughly discussed and recommended to the person who usually consists of an eating plan and an exercise program that does not require the use of supplements or one to purchase any expensive fitness equipment.
By Ayana Walter PHD in Pharma
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