Exercising is considered as a best way to stay fit and fine. One goes for weight lifting, jogging, pushing and many more exercises to tone up the body. However, one seldom thinks of stretching. Stretching is also as important as other exercises, as it helps you to gain strength and provides enough relief from stress.
The benefits of stretching are great. Stretching helps in improving your muscular strength. As a result it increases your range of motion. It also helps in muscle growth. Stretching not only encourages your spirit of sports, but also helps a great deal in improving your performance in everyday life. It helps in removing the stiffness and increases the flexibility of your body.
Stretching is basically of two types, viz active and passive. Active stretching helps in activating your muscle fibers, through tension. Hold the tension for 25-30 seconds, and then relax and tell your partner to push on the body part that is being stretched. This helps in increasing the motion of the muscle being stretched. Then comes passive stretching, which can be done alone. It is done on slightly padded mat. It should be done in a cool and calm place, without any noise. It is meant basically for physical and mental relief. Just stretch your muscles slightly, causing no pain at all. Hold each stress for 25-30 seconds. Focus more on deep breathing. Deep breathing helps you a lot in relaxing your muscles and also helps in increasing your range of motion.
There are lower body stretches and upper body stretches. Lower body stretches include hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch and calf stretch. Upper body stretches include shoulder stretch, side bends, chest stretch, triceps stretch. Each stretch should be performed atleast once or twice. Stretching can lead to pains in joints initially. However, with time these pains will fade out. Perform to an extent in which you are comfortable. This will enable you to perform other exercises, like weight lifting and running, in a more effective way. Stretching helps to make your daily life more smooth and eases your daily movements. It provides both mental and physical relief.