Ahhh….Stretches…..It does the body good!
Our body is made to be flexible. We should be able to bend and reach for something to pick it up off the floor, we should be flexible enough to zip the back of your favorite dress up, also be able to bend down in tight spaces to fix a leak under the sink…. whatever the task is….we should be able to do it without pain having good flexibility and joint range of motion.
However, most of us neglect our bodies and fail to keep it in optimal condition therefore, the body can get tight from stress or just being on our computers, iPhone, iPad for hours without realizing that we have put our bodies in a repetitive, stressful position with bad posture causing pain and tightness throughout. Muscles are so smart that they learn to take on a “new norm” which is to stay tight until you feed it what it needs which is to be flexible again by stretching out the muscles and soft tissues.
What Is Stretching?
Stretching is a form of exercise targeting a specific muscle, group of muscles or tendon to increase the elasticity and to lengthen and improve joint range of motion.
Some benefits of stretching are to increase Joint Range of Motion, Increase the Ability to Perform Skills, Injury Prevention, Reduce Muscle Tension and Tightness, Enhance Energy, Blood Flow, Improve Circulation and Allow the Body to Feel Relaxed.
When performing stretches, It is very important to make sure that you stay in a pain free range and if you feel pain with the stretch then you must back off from the amount of pull or just stop if it is too uncomfortable. Pain is a way that our body is telling us that we are going beyond what our muscles wants to do so listen to what your body is saying and abide. Holding the stretch for at least 30 seconds is an ideal hold time to achieve a change in the muscle.
Try some of these stretches to keep your muscles happy.
Upper Trap Stretch:
-Bring your ear to your shoulder-Place the same hand that your head is tilted towards on the side of your head
-Gently and slowly pull your head in that direction until you feel a comfortable stretch
-Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3x on both sides
Single Knee To Chest Stretch:
-Lie on your back
-Keep both knees bent
-Slowly bring one knee up towards your chest and place your hands slightly below your knee and pull it in and feel a gentle stretch.
-You can also straighten the other leg while stretching
-Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides and do 2-3x on both sides
Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle and remember that consistency is the key to create change.
After all, you only have one body so treat it well and do what it takes to keep your body healthy and happy.
If you are interested in wanting to learn more stretches please consult your doctor or a Physical Therapy facility for assistance.
Thank you for letting me share and make it an ahhmazing day !