Sunday, April 14, 2013

6 Reasons Why You Should Stretch

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for your health but many do not know that regular stretching is just as important.  Many patients and/or clients of mine always ask how often they should stretch, when they should stretch, or even if it is important to do so.  There are many reasons that stretching is important for you and your health.

Stretching 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).
-          These is a potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity
-          Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness

Stretching 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.

Main ideas are to stretch muscles that tend to be tight; spend longer times on areas where you have symptoms or notice increased tightness.  Stretch when your muscles are warm such as after a workout. Don’t just stretch for short periods of time.  Sometimes you need a session or two each week that lasts up to 45 minutes to increase your flexibility.
If you need help building a stretching program visit your trained physical therapists at Hayashida & Associates Physical Therapy.

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