Most of us stretch naturally when we wake up in the morning or when we feel stiffness or soreness. However, why should we make stretching a part of our daily routine? Whether you’re a runner, yogi, dancer, or fitness enthusiast, here are a few reasons on why you should be stretching (correctly).
Photo by Lena Bell
To Improve True Stretch and Flexibility
Forced stretching leads to opposite effects of stretching. If you’re just beginning (or just really tight) and find the muscle not wanting to release, first relax into it instead of forcing the stretch. Only go as far as you can. Relax and release a little at a time with every exhale (passive stretching). This way you’ll work with you true stretch and see more of an improvement in your flexibility. In fact, there are many types of stretching, choose the one that will work for you.
To Avoid Overstretching
Therefore, stretching this way reduces the chance of injury from overstretching. The main reason to stretch is not only lengthen the muscle but to create more space in your joints and ligaments so there is less impact and the bones can rotate properly to maintain appropriate range of motion. Take one day at a time, and be careful not to go beyond your limit. Each day will be different. Know the difference between when you’re pushing yourself safely and when you’re over doing it.
Photo by Abigail Keenan
To Release Deep Muscle Connections
When stretching is done correctly and frequently enough, those aches and pains in cause by deeper muscular areas can finally begin to release. Why? This is because deep muscle connections are all intertwined with each other. The whole body works together. The psoas muscle is fantastic example of why we need to remember the body moves and stretches as an entire system.
To Stretch Right for Your Body Type
Every type of body is unique and every type of body will need slightly different stretching techniques. Experience the one’s that will work for you depending on what type of exercising you’re doing. Pay attention to your range of motion each day and where soreness and tightness may lie. Being aware about what you body needs each day will set how you will, perform, exercise, cool down, and stretch on that day. Listen to your body and stretch mindfully.
Love stretching? Try this: