If you’ve ever been involved in sports, or any physical activity for health or leisure, you have probably heard how important it is to stretch. Before you exercise. I mean after you exercise. Or yoga, “instead of exercise”. Agh, which is it?! And how important is it?
There is one thing that is clear, stretching is important. Whether you are physically active or not. It helps improve flexibility. You have probably heard that a number of times. So you say you don’t need to be Gumby, right? Well, perhaps not Gumby, but you do need flexibility. Without it, you are limiting your range of motion, and increasing your chances of injury.
Stretching also corrects posture, by lengthening tight muscles, which will pull them away from their intended positions. And in the day of constant computer use, we need it. It’s also good for your mind, giving yourself a chance to calm it, listen to your breath, and decrease stress.
So how much stretching do we need and when?
If you are an athlete or work out, you should definitely be stretching before activity. There are two types, dynamic and static.
With dynamic stretching, it is slow, and controlled movements, through a complete range of motion. This is the type you want to do prior to a workout. Do stretches specific to the body part you are going to exercise, and do not bounce. Your muscles are not warm yet, and this causes injury.
Working as a Fine Art Photographer, I find refuge from the life of wife and mother to 3 busy athletes. As wonderful as the technological advancements of this day & age bring, I find slowing things down invaluable. Our relationships deserve our full attention, and by attending to our own health we foster all things positive!
Lover of Ashtanga Yoga, Plant strong nourishment, and a thirst for learning. We're all in this together, Namaste!
In high school I remember so many of the boys (and some girls) who wound moan and groan about how our teacher made us stretch before going to the weight room which I never understood because it feel SO good.
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