Stretching is just as important as any cardio or strength training exercise and doing any or all of these stretches every day can be life-changing.
Allocating some time every day to stretch during or after your workout will greatly improve your flexibility, reduce body tightness and make your workouts easier and more enjoyable the next time.
Stretching as you age
According to paper writing service, tight muscles are the major cause of joint strain when performing daily activities and functions. In most cases, people with tight muscles are more apt to get injured. Medical experts report that as people get older, their muscles get shorter and rigid.
It’s very important to take charge of your health especially as you age by increasing the length of your muscles so that you can perform your daily activities with minimal strain. Stretching should be something we look forward to doing, not only because it usually follows a tough training session but it helps you relax, speeds up muscle recovery and it just feels so good.
Stretching decreases risk of injury
Strength training and cardio exercises without stretching increases your risk of injury. Contracting your muscles and failing to lengthen them will result in imbalances and a weak frame. Imbalances result to injuries because some muscles and joints will have to work harder to overcompensate for the tight ones that are not really engaged.
Stretching your muscles will reduce restrictions thus allowing them to function to their fullest capacity. Improving the flexibility of your muscles is not difficult. All you need to do is take the first step. Start stretching today.
In fact, you should include it in your workout program. Being flexible enough to perform various daily activities will put you a step ahead of the crowd.
Here are ten simple stretches that will help you stay flexible and fit at any age…
Standing hamstring stretch
- First, stand with your legs slightly apart, arms at both sides and knees bent slightly
- Exhale while bending your hips forward and lowering your head to the floor. Remember to keep your neck and shoulder muscles relaxed
- Put your arms around your legs and hold for about one to two minutes.
- Slightly bend your knees and return to the starting position when you are done.
The piriformis muscle is a hip rotator located outside the butt. A report by velvetjobs indicates that it’s mainly involved in enhancing external rotations. Most of the hip movement is produced by internal rotators. These movements are crucial yet overlooked by most people.
A tight piriformis may result in irritation of the sciatic nerve. Stretching treats and eliminates this issue completely.
- The starting position: Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front
- Cross the right leg over the left leg and have your right foot remain flat
- Put your right hand behind you on the floor to support your body
- Place the left hand on the right quad and press your right leg as you twist your upper and middle body towards the right.
If you feel uncomfortable you can reverse the entire process and place your left hand on your right quad.
Lunge with a spinal twist
According to zipjob, this stretch is important because it helps in maintaining the right posture for people who sit for long periods. It opens the hips and improves mobility.
- Stand with your feet together facing forward
- Take one huge step forward with your left foot to be in a staggered posture
- Bend your left knee as if you are doing a lunge and keep your right leg straight. With your toes on the ground, you’ll start feeling a stretch on your right thigh.
- Now twist your upper body towards the ceiling and hold for about two minutes.
- Repeat using the other side.
- Stand straight and face forward
- Turn your head slowly towards the right side
- Hold for about thirty seconds
- Get back to the starting position.
- Turn your head towards the left side
- Hold for thirty seconds
- Turn your head back to the starting position
- Tilt your neck towards the right side
- Have your right arm over your head towards your left ear
- Hold for about a minute
- Switch sides and start the process
- Cross your arms over your shoulders or clasp above your head
- Rotate your torso towards the right
- Hold for a minute or two
- Face forward and repeat towards the left side now
- Find a comfortable chair and sit
- Sit straight facing forward
- Bend your torso towards your legs slightly
- Hold for a few seconds and sit straight.
Trunk lateral flexion
- Stand straight with your feet slightly apart
- Bend your body to the right side and have your right hand touch your right leg
- The left hand should be raised and facing up
- Repeat the stretch using the left side now.
- Stand straight with your feet slightly apart
- Without bending your back, reach your hands toward each other with one on top and the other at the bottom of your back
- Switch sides and repeat the process
- Stand straight with your feet together
- Raise the right leg towards the back and grab the foot using the right hand
- Stand straight and hold for a few seconds
- Switch sides and repeat using the left side.
- Lie down on the floor flat
- Bring one knee towards your chest as the other leg remains flat on the ground
- Hold for one or two minutes
- Switch legs and start the process
Stretching is crucial for your physical and mental health. People who don’t stretch regularly are highly vulnerable to injuries and joint problems. The best thing you can do to avoid complications as you get older is to stretch. It will be a bit uncomfortable when you start but the results will be worth the struggle. Start stretching today as instructed above. And you will not regret.
About the author
Serena Dorf is a content writer and a blogger at edubirdie reviews and Aussiewritings where she eagerly shares her writing expertise. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature on MyAssignmentWriting and Edugeeksclub and learning Swedish on assignment masters and BestEssay.