There are so many benefits of daily stretching. For one, it helps us keep a healthy range of motion in our daily movements. How many times are we doing a normal daily activity and ‘pull’ something? Stretching is useful for both injury prevention and injury treatment. Stretching is also thought to improve recovery and may enhance athletic performance. Additionally, increased flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and upper back may improve respiratory function. Ok, so you still ask, why should I stretch – because I said so!….just kidding. It just feels so good!
It is very important to develop and maintain a stretching regimen because working out tightens muscles. You don’t have to be lifting super heavy weights in order to experience the tightening effects of exercise. When you weight train, you incur tiny tears in your muscles. During the course of 24-73 hours, your body works at repairing those muscle tears, resulting in muscles that are a bit larger, stronger and tighter. Incorporating stretching into your daily habits will help loosen these tight muscles and improve your muscle flexibility, therefore giving you a greater range of motion in body movements. However, it is important that you stretch correctly. I see it all the time, a quick lean, ahh..ok done. No benefit is gained form a 3 second stretch. In order to get the benefit of a stretch you need to hold it for a minimum of 15 seconds, 30 seconds is highly recommended. Your muscles are like taffy…you need to keep them extended long enough so they”ll stay loose. And remember to breathe while stretching!
Still not convinced….come see me!