Do you ever feel stiff or sore when you wake up in the mornings? Have you felt pain at anytime trying to extend your muscles?
According to Harvard Medical, stretching is key for maintaining healthy, strong and flexible muscles. Areas of your body you should focus on are your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors in your pelvis. These are all critical for mobility, however before you jump into stretches make sure you are doing it safely and effectively. Below are some tips to safely stretching according to Mayo Clinic;
-Don’t stretch cold muscles! A light walk or jog is an effective way to warm up prior to stretching.
-Focus on having equal flexibility side to side, unequal flexibility may be a risk factor for injury.
-Breathe normally while holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds, do not aim for pain. If you feel pain rather than tension, back off until you don’t feel any pain then hold the stretch.
-Bring movement into your stretching! Dynamic stretching consists of controlled movements that reach your limit of range of motion. While performing dynamic stretches you should gradually increase reach and/or speed of the movement.
-Static stretching or passive stretching can be preformed after a workout to help reduce your risk of injury.
Stretching once a day won’t magically give you perfect flexibility. You’ll need to do it over time and remember to keep up with your stretching routine. “It may have taken you many months to get tight muscles, so you’re not going to be perfectly flexible after one or two sessions,” says physical therapist David Nolan of Massachusetts General Hospital. The more you stretch, the more benefits your body and mind will receive. Staying flexible and healthy as you age would be a great suggestion, it will help you in the long run with most of your aches and pains.