Get Your Stretch On
Learn why stretching helps you perform better when working out
When you think of stretching or flexibility, you might automatically think of yoga. But, you don’t need to take a yoga class to stretch – you can do it in the comfort of your own home!
There are many benefits to stretching, including increased flexibility and range of motion, improved posture, and it’s great for relieving stress. It can also help you improve your coordination, which leads to having better balance. Here’s how you can incorporate stretching into your day, no matter where you are.
We’ve all seen yogis and gymnasts with their enviable flexibility, and believed that such contortions were impossible to attain. While touching our nose with our elbow may, indeed, be out of the question for most of us, the health benefits of stretching are significant.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching twice a week. Staying flexible helps you stay active and comfortable, keeps your joints working well, and relieves pain. The best part?
Anyone and everyone can stretch!
When to stretch:
Research has shown that stretching is actually not effective at the beginning of a workout. Warm up for five to 10 minutes, at least, although it’s actually best to stretch after a workout.
How to stretch:
Keep the stretch gentle. If you feel pain, you’ve stretched too far. Stretch for 30-60 seconds and then switch sides or switch stretches. (If you’re feeling especially tight, stretch the tight or hurting area repeatedly). Don’t bounce!
What stretches to do:
It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any new activity, especially if you’re focused on treating injuries or pain. The internet is a wealth of good options, and it actually depends on what your goals are.
Here are some good starters: