stretching exercises

Stretching Exercises : How to Make the Most of it

Stretching for sport and exercise improves flexibility, which increases the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion; in other words, how far it can bend, twist and reach. This article attempts to guide how to stretch properly and get the most of it.

Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

Here are some of the main benefits of stretching. Hopefully these reasons will inspire you to make it part of your schedule!

For Your Body

  • Helps improve flexibility (increases your range of motion)
  • Assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pulls the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look)
  • Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness

For Your Mind

  • Even a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) of stretching can calm the mind, provide a mental break, and give your body a chance to recharge
  • Classes like yoga or pilates offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension physically and mentally

How to stretch properly?

To stretch properly and safely, slowly stretch the muscle just until you feel resistance. Resistance is the point at which you feel a slight pull. It should not be painful. Stop and hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds without bouncing up and down.

During the stretch, breathe deeply and regularly. Don’t hold your breath. Make sure your muscles are warmed up before you stretch. The best time to stretch is after exercise, when your muscles are most supple. ReLiva suggests 6 active stretches that you must do.

To get the most out of the stretching you do, here are some suggestions:

Dont Skip the Pre-Workout Stretch

Your muscles should be warm before you begin your stretching. Do a warm-up before a workout that simulates the movements you’ll be doing in order to warm up and prepare your body. Stretch after the workout when your muscles are already warm.

Focus on the Muscles That Need the Most Help

Instead of trying to stretch your whole body after every time you exercise, focus on a key area of the body each time. Spend longer on each stretch and include more stretches for each area. If you are aware of muscles that are tight, then focus on those ones.

Include One Long-Duration Flexibility Session Each Week

Choose a flexibility class, such as yoga, pilates, or do your own flexibility work for 45-60 minutes at least once a week. If you’re having trouble sticking to it, follow these strategies and build it into your schedule/calendar

 

exercise

No time for exercise? 10 tips to get moving

Running to office? Got to get kids ready for school! Got to meet the deadline. House guests are coming and there is still so much to be shopped. The list goes on and on and what inevitably happens is no time left for exercise. This is not just your story but of the most of the people around. If you are still struggling to find time for exercise, read on to discover some quick and easy tips to get moving.

“Building physical activity back into our daily lives is one of the great public health challenges of this century,” said Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Exercise at the University of South Carolina. “Our bodies were designed to be physically active, and they don’t do well with long-term exposure to sedentary living.  Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

Follow these simple trips to add some more action to your everyday life.

  1. Play with your child. Whether you do it at home or go outdoors, just pick up that ball or the bat or both and get into some action with your child. This will not just get your muscles moving but give you a great chance to bond with your child too.
  2. Walk the dog. Take the chance to walk your dog than to let someone else do it. This is your chance to get some fresh air and also get a quick 10-15 minute walk. The brisker you walk, the better the exercise for your dog too.
  3. Ditch the elevator. Start using the staircase instead of the lift specially to climb up, Start with getting off one floor below your destination to climb up the last staircase and gradually start getting off two floors below and improve it thereon.
  4. Don’t let the weather spoil your walk. If it is raining or it is too cold outside, just drive to your nearest mall with your sport shoes on. Walk around the mall, window shopping ( or not), climb the stairs and finish your daily walk.
  5. Carry your sports shoes on holidays. Walking around in a holiday not only lets you enjoy the weather and locale better but also lets you use your muscles.
  6. Pursue an outdoor hobby. Whether it is cricket, football, badminton, cycling, tennis or just frisbie; make sure you indulge in it every once in a week. The fun will takeaway the dread from physical activity.
  7. Park the farthest. Do not fret if you get a parking slot away from the building entrance. Infact try to consciously park your car away and just walk it to the entry.
  8. Walk the talk. While on a phone call, get up and stroll around the room. While the no time for exmind is occupied in the conversation, the muscles would get a decent stretch and movement.
  9. Goto them. Instead of calling your executives to your desk, take the chance to get up and goto them every once in a while. While they will warm up to your gesture, you will have moved your muscles a bit more.
  10. Lug the bag. The shopping bag may have become heavy but that gives you a chance to add weight to your walking. Ditch the trolley to your car/home and carry the bags yourself.

So if you still think you have not time for exercise, these simple tips will help you sneak in some exercise in your existing schedule. As they say, those who do not find time for exercise – have to find time for illness. Don’t let anything prevent you from taking care of your own self.

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