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Monday, 25 May 2020

When and Why Should We Stretch


Why is Stretching so Important

Stretching keeps our muscles flexible and healthy. Stretching our muscles after exercise whether it's walking, fitness classes or jogging will help to maintain a good range of movement within our joints. Without any stretching our muscles become tight and shorten, they become weaker and will not be able to extend in any way. This will in turn put you at risk of joint pain, instability, strains and muscle damage.

The Effects of a Regular Stretching Programme

As with anything worth maintaining or improving, it will take time and consistency. Lower limb muscles such as calve or hamstring muscles (back of the thigh) may take some time to lengthen and regain flexibility. Years of not stretching these muscles will not recoup flexibility after a couple of weeks, however stretching regularly will make a huge difference to regaining some sort of flexibility. For example, if you have a sedentary job where you are seated for most of the day without stretching, will leave you with tight hamstrings. It will become increasingly difficult to straighten your knee and extend your leg, which in turn hinders your walking abilities.

Types of Stretching

There are several forms of stretching and it is important to activate muscles prior to exercise as well as stretching worked muscles post exercise. It is equally as important that the correct stretching exercises are performed at the right time.

Prior to exercise some sort of stretch is required to warm up your muscles. Dynamic Stretches are stretching exercise with movement and these stretches should be used as a warm up before you participate in any form of exercise.


Static stretching comes to mind when we think about stretching. This type of stretching is performed after your workout. These types of stretching exercises will lengthen and extend your muscles. Hold a static stretch for approximately 15 seconds. You can also static stretch during the day to loosen your muscles and joints. If you are seated all day.....add a few hamstring and calf stretches to your day to lengthen tight muscles


The Benefits of Stretching

There is no doubt that stretching is good for the body and soul.  There are many benefits associated with stretching
  • Increases flexibility
  • Increases range of movement
  • Increases blood flow to your muscles
  • Lengthens muscles and relieves tightness
  • Improves performance prior to physical activity
  • Improves posture
  • Calms the mind
  • Stress reliever
Stretching and the Mind

Stretching encourages your mind to think about each muscle, the awareness of your surroundings and your breathing, as you inhale and exhale. Take your mind away from stress and worry as you concentrate on the movement of your muscles and the rhythmical sounds of your breathing. Focus your awareness to the present moment in time as you relax and stretch the day away.






4 comments:

  1. So so true. My hamstrings etc are really tight to point I think my leg is straight, but it's not when I look in the mirror.

    However, I have been doing yoga stretches, especially focussing on the legs,nearly every day for 2 months now and it's made such a difference.

    Great article and I'm living proof that it's true.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Ronella.....keep stretching and thanks again for visiting my website

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  2. Hi great article.I have been doing leg stretching exercises for a few years now and they have really helped to keep me mobile in my twilight years!!! and recently I have started arm stretching exercises and already feeling the benefits of them and all this takes about 45 minutes, time well spent I say, many thanks

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it. Keep stretching it will definitely be beneficial in your twilight years, maintaining stability of joints and increasing your range of movement. Well done and thank you for visiting my website

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