Stretching improves not only flexibility but also balance and strength, all of which help protect our bodies from injury.
Try incorporating stretching exercises into your daily routine to keep yourself nimble and feeling youthful. One of the best things about stretching is that every movement is adaptable. And you can practice stretching through Pilates, tai chi, yoga, and other formal programs that are available by video on YouTube and in classes at local fitness facilities.
Easier than that, though, is making up your own stretching routine at home. You can do it with or without equipment such as a towel, fabric strap, or elastic band to help increase your range of motion.
GETTING READY TO STRETCH
Stretching has four basic requirements:
- Space. Whether you exercise indoors or outside, make sure you have enough room to bend over at the waist, squat down, extend your arms and legs fully, and even lose your balance and fall over without hitting anything.
- Warmth. Since muscles move much better—and are less likely to become injured—when they’re warm, select a warm space to do your stretching. If you choose to stretch first thing after waking up, give yourself five to 10 minutes to warm up by walking around your neighborhood or even taking a quick shower.
- Comfort. Wear something that you can move around in. Be comfy
- Limits. This is extremely important: Stretch only as far as you can without feeling pain. The millisecond you feel uncomfortable, please ease back from that position. Over time you’ll likely be able to move farther as long as you stretch every day.
IMPORTANCE OF STRETCHING FOR HEALTH BENEFITS
- Stretching Increases the Circulation
- Stretching Provides and Improves Flexibility
- Promotes the Range of Motion in Joints
- Stretching Reduces Stress
- Helps in Controlling Lower Back Pain
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