Why is Stretching Important?
Stretching is one of those exercises we always remember we should do but never really make time for. Like jogging, eating better, or any other healthy habits, stretching can be difficult to include in your daily life.
Lockdown has only added to the sense of general malaise with many of us becoming even more sedentary. Stretching can be a great way to start introducing more exercise into your life and maybe develop 10-15 mins of regular stretching into an exercise plan. To help motivate you, we’re going to look at why stretching is important and how it benefits your health in the long term.
Why is stretching important?
Stretching keeps your muscles strong, flexible and healthy. Flexibility is key to maintaining your range of motion and preventing any muscle tightness. Stretching also lowers the risk of muscle injury and is a must for warming up before exercise as well as cooling down after exercise. Muscles that aren’t warmed up are more likely to strain or tear and can lead to long term injuries in the muscle or joints.
Even if you aren’t going for a run or doing anything specifically taxing, your muscles still need to be stretched. Many people experience tight hamstrings after sitting for long periods of time so even in relative inactivity your muscles continuously work to keep you balanced. Stretching also helps with balance which makes this activity, especially for older people, ideal to prevent muscle strain and improve balance at the same time.
We recommend that you ease into stretching, especially if you’re out of practice. If you’re currently experiencing joint, muscle, or back pain then give us a call. Our team of chiropractors and therapists are on hand to help patients get to the bottom of their concerns. To us, prevention is better than cure and we work with patients to find the root cause of an issue. Our team will not only treat your concerns and provide insight into the cause but will also suggest exercises and activities to build muscle, flexibility, and ultimately allow you to live life to the fullest.
Slow and steady wins the race
If you’re looking for somewhere to start then there are few key goals to keep in mind.
Firstly, you don’t have to stretch every muscle, every day. Start with a focus on muscle groups that are key to mobility. Areas like your hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, and quadriceps should be a focus for mobility.
Next, do a little bit every day. Even 10-20 minutes can be helpful. Be patient and you’ll see a difference in the weeks and months that follow.
Finally, focus on proper execution. Speed isn’t important so don’t rush your stretches. Warm up with a few steps before going into your stretching routine. Focus on your breathing and form, work through your stretches and push yourself as far as is comfortable. Make sure you hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. The key is to feel the tension in your muscles, not pain.
If you do experience any muscle or joint pain then please contact a medical professional for advice. Either your GP can refer you to a specialist or you can contact us directly. We specialise in treating patients with gentle and effective techniques to restore normal function, reduce back pain and improve everyday life. Our team of therapists and chiropractors are on hand to help you find the mobility, flexibility, and freedom you need. Contact us today or book an appointment at our clinic in Cambridge to find out more.