Stretching Does The Body Good

Did you stretch today?  If not, it isn’t too late.  You can stop what you’re doing right now and reach your hands up over your head toward the ceiling.  Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and breathe deeply, inhale through yur nose for 4 counts, filling your belly, then exhale through your mouth for 8 counts.  Didn’t that feel great?  Along with prayer or meditation, this is the perfect way to start each day.

Another ideal time to stretch is at the gym; however, most people start their workout without a warm up and stretch session. This could be the perfect set up for injury and muscle strain.  It’s advised that you stretch before and after your workout whether it’s a cardiovascular activity or strength training.

Stretching comes with many perks:

  • Reduces stress
  • Relieves muscle soreness and tension
  • Increases range of motion
  • improves physical performance
  • Circulates blood supply to muscles
  • Helps get nutrition to joints
  • Improves muscle balance and posture
  • Reduces lower back pain
  • Improves flexibility

Another great thing about stretching is that it can be done while standing, sitting, or lying down.  So no matter what your age or condition, you can find a position that suits you comfortably.  Remember to use a rug or mat when stretching on the floor.

Fitness professional suggest that you never stretch a cold muscle.  Take a short walk, jog or ride on a stationery bike for 5-10 minutes, then you’re ready to stretch.

Here are four pointers to ensure an effective and safe stretch

  • Don’t force or bounce; just relax through the movement
  • Breathe slowly and naturally
  • Focus on the muscle you’re stretching
  • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds

Now that you know its wonderful benefits, treat yourself to a daily routine of stretching.  It does the body good!

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