Stretching: things to consider for your health and wellness
1) What are some health benefits of stretching?
– Improved muscle tone – stretching can help relieve symptoms of muscle tightness. For example tightness in the neck that occurs after a long day working at the computer can be relieved.
– Improved mobility – stretching can help increase the range of motion of your body and can help increase flexibility. Adequate range of motion and flexibility is needed to perform a variety of every day tasks, from getting dressed, driving your car or bicycle, or reaching for something on a high shelf
– Improved posture – Poor posture results from muscle weakness, habits, and tight muscles. Stretching should be part of a regular postural correction program which can help you feel better and take stresses off of your postural muscles, ligaments, and joints.
– Improved performance – want to have a great golf game? or decrease muscle fatigue and soreness after a long run? Proper stretching can help you be and function better at your activity of choice.
2) What can happen to your body if you don’t stretch properly or don’t stretch at all?
Proper stretching is key in achieving your desired health goals. There are three main types of stretching (static, dynamic, and facilitated) and all can be useful in specific situations. However, too much stretching, not enough stretching, stretching the wrong muscles, or doing the wrong type of stretch can actually pre-dispose one to injury and can put unnecessary stress on your muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments.
3) If you are not naturally flexible, how can you improve this?
Most people are not naturally flexible. And with flexibility the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it” holds true. This means that most people need to work this activity into a daily routine – like brushing your teeth.
There are many ways to do this. Yoga from a quality and trained professional, or a regular stretching program designed for you by a trained professional, like a chiropractor.
4) What is the most overlooked benefit of stretching?
People tend to think about stretching only when there is an injury or right before or after an activity. But it’s important to think of it as a preventive tool that can you can do, even when you’re feeling great, to help KEEP you feeling great and functioning at your best.