Stretching is an underestimated act. Stretching can provide your body, that is to say, muscles, heart and mind that much needed lease of life. Not only does it rejuvenate the body, but it also helps in strengthening the muscles and makes the heart work more efficiently. Ever seen, the sportspersons stretching well before their matches and practice sessions? Stretching and yoga exercises loosens the muscles and prepares the body for more rigorous exercise. In short, stretching will have a very positive effect on your health, appearance, flexibility and will improve your body’s overall performance.
But let’s get it straight, stretching isn’t for sportspersons only. In fact, stretching should be a part of every person’s every day routine. Anybody and everybody who wishes to have a flexible, fit and healthy body should opt for 10-30 minutes of stretching exercises every day. However it's essential thatstretching is done in a way that doesn't cause any damage or injury to your muscles. Read more about How to do stretching exercises safely.
Here’s what you should do to do that complete stretching workout:
- Warm up at a slower pace for say, 5 to 10 minutes. You can use a treadmill or exercise bike for this purpose. This will stretch the muscle-groups used.
- Now go for a much faster (preferably cardio exercises) for 20 minute or so.
- Again do a low intensity cooling stint.
This should have warmed up your body. Now you can go on and do stretching exercises that involve all the major muscles of your body.
Here are some of the major positive effects of stretching:
1. Prevents postural problems like slouching, lower back aches etc.
2. Increases range of motion for the body.
3. Makes the body more flexible. In return, this flexibility, protects your body from further injury related to sprains, overuse etc.
4. Prepares you in a great way for a fitter and healthier life style in your old age.
5. Stimulates and rejuvenates the brain, heart, respiratory system and almost all other functionalities of the body.
6. Improves the general quality of the muscles.
7. It help prevents the “knots” that develop as a result of sedentary lifestyle.
Stretching is undervalued, but if you can inculcate the habit, it will probably be the one good thing you picked up in life. Also, remember that along with adequate exercises and stretching, one should have healthy diet and stay away from caffeine. Caffeine, if consumed in excess can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins, so steer clear. Have adequate sleep and try to reduce the stress in your life.
Health and life are important and irreplaceable. Take care of them.