Why is stretching important?
A day after the International Yoga day, I thought I should talk about the role of stretching in my Friday fitness post. Most of us neglect stretching as part of the everyday fitness program. We are sometimes tempted to focus more on training that we forget that our body also needs a cool off or stretching post a heavy workout. It happens to me too. Sometimes when I am in a rush to go to office, I am tempted to skip the stretching and warm up and dwell into action 😊
Any kind of exercise requires proper warm up and stretching. It not only enhances muscle flexibility which leads to the decreased likelihood of injury, better muscle performance but also boosts an overall sense of well-being that lasts even hours after you’ve finished.
Ideally one should stretch several times each day. In the morning, stretching awakens your body and gets you ready for activities ahead. Evening stretching helps in ironing the days wear and tear. It also activates the brain to remain more focused and feel calm. Stretching helps in relaxing muscles before going to bed and lessen the soreness after a hard day that would help you in waking up feeling rejuvenated. Not to mention that stretching is a must earlier and post workout.
Before starting an exercise, it is important to stretch a body a little bit and do a warm-up session to prevent injury and reduce post activity soreness. Post rigorous weight training, the body feels stiff and tight and therefore it is important to stretch to relieve the tension in the muscles and bring a sense of balance in the body.
Basic stretches can do wonders to the body. Sitting a lot in front of a computer???? try taking breaks in between and do simple rolling of neck up, down left and right. Tired typing for long stretch???? Rotate your wrists. Similarly rotate your ankle to relieve the tension in your legs. Most of us take a train or a car and in the long commute we just sit and don’t move. Don’t you feel stiff when you get up? That’s because if we remain inactive for long, the body gets deconditioned. So, keep stretching or doing some form of activity to reduce the lethargicness.
While stretching, remember that the key to stretching is to do it slowly and hold it for few moments. Breathe through the stretching. Post workout, invest in good 5-10 minutes to stretch your body completely to make the muscle supple. The body will thank you for stretching because stretching leads to lesser aches and pains, better postures and happier state of mind. Adapt or modify the stretching routine to suit your needs. What are you waiting for? Go and stretch your body right away !