Mike Volitich, Physical Therapy Industry-Related Materials
When the topic of stretching comes up, many folks tend to roll their eyes. Far too often you’ll hear a person say that they do not engage in stretching either before or after their workouts.
Sure, everybody has their ideas of when and how to stretch. Many people do it before their workouts. Others insist on doing it after their workout.
No matter when you decide to stretch, it’s a vital part of fitness and wellness. Do not wait until you’re old to start taking care of your body in this way. Even youth and young adults stand to gain some tremendous health benefits from properly stretching.
The benefits of stretching are numerous, too.
For one, you’ll enjoy better flexibility and increased circulation. You’ll also enjoy proper posture and get more in touch with your body. Stretching is also an amazing compliment to a stressful day.
What is Considered Stretching?
So, what is stretching exactly? Stretching is the deliberate action of lengthening the muscles, which releases tension and increases overall muscle flexibility while at the same time increasing range of motion for the joints.
Stretching is an important part of most top notch athletes’ workout plans, but stretching is also a vital part of both athletes’ and every day folks’ rehabilitation program. Stretching will help warm the body up prior to activity thus decreasing the risk of injury as well as muscle soreness.
Experience the Benefits of Stretching, No Matter Your Age
Benefits that come about from stretching are numerous and have been proven time and time again by various conclusive studies.
Stretching benefits people of all ages, no matter how young and uncoordinated you are, no matter how old and limited you think you might be.
How to Stretch
Whatever your philosophy is on when to stretch, it’s best if you warm up first. When you engage your muscles in a stretch when they’re cold, you can risk pulling a muscle.
Start by walking around while gently pumping your arms. Do a few low-intensity exercises before your stretch routine.
When you do stretch, make sure you hold for at least 30 seconds. Make sure that you breathe evenly and deeply. Push down on a stretch on an exhale, if you’re able. Make sure that you don’t bounce your stretches, because you can cause microtears in your muscle, which decrease flexibility and make workouts and workout recoveries more painful.
Stretch light before a workout. Focus more on the warmup, stretch a bit, then get after it. After the workout, engage in a cool down, then a more thorough stretch, which is the perfect way to end your workout.
Take the Time to Stretch
Sure, the last thing you probably want to do is take 20-30 minutes right after working out to get a good stretch it, but it’s well worth it. Your body will thank you and you’ll start to notice new health benefits and new vitality.
Mike Volitich continues to remain committed to providing insider physical therapy knowledge, as well as the lowdown on UCLA sports and all things outdoors, among his many other enthusiastic pursuits. His efforts and website aim to help people stay active, and, above all, stay safe and injury-free.