Stretching – Why Is It Important?
We have all been told that stretching is important to do before and after exercise. However, it is a hassle to do. We want to jump right into the tennis game or the soccer game with our friends. It is also boring to do. So why do them?
Why do stretching?
We live with a sedentary lifestyle now. We sit in front of the computer on average 8 hours a day. When we don’t sit in front of the computer, we look at our phones. These sustained postures cause us to have tight and shortened muscles. You may think that this is not so much of an issue. However, the problem is, these short muscles won’t be able to extend all the way and be weak when called upon during physical activity. This increases the risk of a muscle pull or tear. Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, and this means that exertion won’t put too much force on the muscle itself.
Why do we not do it?
The problem with stretching is that you don’t really see the benefit of it right away. It is not a magical thing that helps make your muscle longer and give you perfect flexibility within a day. Because it may have taken many months for your muscles to get short and tight, the process of reversing it is not going to be as short as a day or two. You’ll need to do it over time and remain committed to the process.
How do I stretch?
- Stretch before and after exercise, whether it be aerobic or weight-training.
- Perform a five to ten-minute warm-up before stretching. Walking at a measured pace, jogging slowly or jumping rope can suffice, but never stretch cold muscles.
- Stretching after exercise should be done within ten minutes after completion before the muscles have had time to cool off.
- Do not bounce during stretching. This can cause pulling or tearing of the muscle.
- Stretch gradually. If a stretch is applied too quickly, the Golgi tendon reflex kicks in and the muscle will contract instead of relaxing.
- Never stretch to the point of pain, and it’s not necessary to count. Simply stretch until you feel the muscle relax.
Stretching takes up only about ten to fifteen minutes of your time, but it can greatly add to your overall performance and increase the efficiency of your workout. In order to stretch safely and receive the maximum benefit, consult your physiotherapist. Do contact us if you have any questions. Below is a quick stretch you can do. Follow our instagram page for more useful exercises.