Motion is lotion, Motion life.
Stretching & Prevention:
By now you have probably heard that you need to stretch more and how important it is to make stretching a part of your daily routine. Regardless of our daily activity level, stretching helps to increase our range of motion and flexibility. More important than that, regular stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury. Benefits of Stretching:
Increased flexibility and joint range of motion: By allowing the joints and be moved through their whole range, it helps to ensure that you don’t stiffen up over time. Think of this as a use it or loose it idea.
Injury Prevention: Decreased muscle resistance allowing for freer movement overall and therefore less restriction when it comes to sudden, unexpected movements.
Improved circulation: This is true discussing dynamic stretching, allowing blood flow to the muscles helping to eliminate any waste by-product that might be hanging around, It stimulates all the little receptors in the joints too if you have been sedentary for a while.
Better posture: By allowing yourself to loosen the tighter muscles, you can stand up straighter and decrease general discomfort.
Decreasing pain: Gentle stretches, if done properly and regularly can help to decrease tension and pain.
Types of Stretching:
Static – When people think of stretching, this is usually what comes to mind. This is when you pull the muscle to the end range and hold the position. This type of stretch is best to be done after exercise as part of your cool down, or even better on its on taken as a yoga class.
Dynamic – Most often considered as the warm up to activity. Dynamic stretching is essentially moving the body through similar range of motion as you would be doing when exercises. I like to describe these as the “Grade 8 gym class stretches”. You remember when we all had to stand around in a circle while we performed hip circles, shoulder circles, neck rotations and the like. These movements are actually important as it helps to get the blood flowing to the areas that you would be using during exercise.