Importance of stretching



Stretching is an extremely important practice to add to your daily routine to be on your way to better health. Even if you are not planning on exercising vigorously, it is still important to stretch in order to receive multiple benefits for your body and your mind. Stretching has multiple benefits for both your body and your mind. Incorporating stretching into your daily routine allows muscles to be well circulated and ultimately healthier. Stretching may help you:

  1.  Improve your joint range of motion
  2. Improve your athletic performance
  3.  Decrease your risk of injury
  4.  Improve your performance in physical activities
  5.  Decrease your risk of injuries
  6.  Help your joints move through their full range of motion
  7.  Enable your muscles to work most effectively
  8. After a hard workout, stretching your muscles helps keep them loose and lessens the shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
  9. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and, therefore, can help you feel less stressed.
  10.  Chronically tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation, resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients. Stretching allows your muscles to relax.
  11.  Stretching increases blood supply to your muscles and joints, which allows for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through your entire body?
  12. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors, and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine, which in turn reduces your risk of low-back pain.
  13. Stretching prior to exercise allows your muscles to loosen up and become better able to withstand the impact of the activity you choose to do.

Types of Stretching are:

  • Static stretching is most often recommended for general fitness. With this type, you slowly ease into the position and hold for 10 to 30 seconds before slowly releasing the stretch. Static stretching should be performed with warm muscles, such as after a warm-up or at the end of a workout. There are two forms of static stretching.
  • Dynamic stretching is stretching with movement. The body transitions gradually into a position and this movement is repeated as you increase your reach and range of motion. If you have ever taken a group exercise class, you have likely engaged in dynamic stretching. Movements such as alternating knee lift repeatedly stretch the hamstrings while keeping the body in motion. 
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation-This type of stretching is often referred to as partner stretching because two people are needed to perform the movements. There are many forms of PNF, but most involve an isometric hold followed by a static stretch of the same muscle group. 
  • Ballistic Stretching-This type of stretching uses bouncing movements to create momentum which moves the muscle into the stretch. For example, instead of holding a hamstring stretch you would quickly reach towards your toes and release repeatedly in short bursts of movement.

 

By: Akshita 


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