You might think that a regular stretching routine is only important for athletes, but nothing could be further from the truth. A regular stretching routine is important for each of us. When we go even just a few days without stretching, our muscles shorten and become tight. The results? Poor flexibility, limited range of motion, and weakened muscles. Longer-term consequences include, but are not limited to, poor posture, joint pain (think shoulders and hips), low back pain, strains, and muscle damage.
The good news? Stretching is simple, requires little to no equipment, and can be done daily by anyone, just about anywhere. And you’ll notice a difference in just 2-4 weeks. The benefits are many. Not only is it calming and relaxing, stretching 10-20 minutes at least five days a week will
- promote circulation
- improve your balance
- increase flexibility
- improve range of motion
- decrease lower-back pain
- reduce muscle stiffness and soreness
- properly prepare your body for exercise
- assist with proper digestion
If you’re not sure where to start, here is a link to 10 basic stretches that you can do daily:
And remember, for safety’s sake, to heed the following precautions:
- Begin with a warm-up; for example: march in place, squats, arm circles, shoulder rolls, etc.
- Stretch to the point of feeling muscle tension, but not pain.
- Don’t bounce during a stretch.
- Don’t hold your breath during a stretch.
- Be consistent.
- Be symmetrical – whatever you do on the right, do on the left.
So, who benefits from regular stretching? We all do. Why not begin today – put on some music or the latest episode of whatever you’re currently binge-watching and get started.