Stretching: is it worth the time and effort?
How often do you stretch properly? Most of us are guilty of rushing through our stretches or even skipping them completely, whether it be because you are short of time, see it as ‘‘pointless because you’re not burning calories’’ or simply because you don’t know how! With that said, it is important to know that if you do not include stretching into your program you are setting yourself up for injury and could potentially be out of exercise until your body can repair itself. For regular exercisers this could be a scary thought and no one wants to put a stall on their progress and reaching their goals!
There are many benefits associated with stretching:
- Increased flexibility and joint range of motion:
Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring. Flexibility tends to diminish as you get older, but you can regain and maintain it.
- Improved circulation:
Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you’ve had any muscle injuries.
- Better posture:
Frequent stretching can help to keep your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture. Good posture can minimize discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.
- Stress relief:
Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.
- Enhanced coordination:
Maintaining the full range-of-motion through your joints keeps you in better balance. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls, especially as you get older.
If you find it difficult or boring to stretch by yourself, you would benefit from trying our STRETCH CLASS that is a new addition to our timetable. TUESDAYS 8PM AND THURSDAYS 9AM.