Stretching is often an overlooked routine in an exercise regimen. Stretching reduces injury to muscles. Stretching can be done even if one does not follow an exercise routine. As one gets older, the muscles become taut and movement can be restricted.
Even simple tasks would be difficult to execute. Stretching gives a lot of benefits. One of the greatest benefits is that it gives your muscles the flexibility that it needs, thus enhancing your range of movements. Stretching also comes naturally to us. We would have noticed that we naturally stretch after sitting in a particular position for a long time. Hence stretching should be made a part of your life.
Benefits of stretching
Increases joint movements
Better muscular control and coordination
Enhanced blood circulation and energy level
Improvement in body posture and flexibility
A stretching routine take very little time, as little as 10 – 15 minutes. If you were visiting the gym, then the best time to stretch would be after exercise. This is because during this time the muscles are in a state of tension due to a workout and will needed to be stretched.
Points to remember
– Stretch on both sides of the body. Apply equal stretching pressure on both sides
– Never over-stretch. This will lead to muscle tear and injury
– Make your stretching movements slow and fluid
– Practice deep breathing while stretching
How to stretch some of your major body parts
From its center position stretch your next left, right, forward and back. Bring it to the center.
Put your arm on your chest and pull the forearm with the other hand. Repeat with the other arm.
Touch your back between the shoulder blades with your arm keeping it close to your head. Pull the elbow gently with the other arm. Repeat with other arm.
Turn your wrists gently in clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
Stand up and pull one leg behind you. Repeat for the other leg.
Sit down and press the soles of your feet together. Pull them as close as you can.
Lie down and bring one leg onto your chest. The leg has to be folded as it comes near the chest. Repeat with your other leg.