This is the fourth part of my four-part series on exercise: Let’s Move. Be sure to read the rest of the series if you missed it. I stretch every evening before bed to help maintain my flexibility and to help with chronic pain. I’ve loved trying many of the stretches that Robin include in her e-book, Pain Free. A big thanks to Robin Konie for writing the post below!
With the New Year there are plenty of resolutions about eating better and exercising more. Something about a new beginning makes us want to be better. But lest you think you need to train for a marathon, sometimes it ís important to remember that small and simple things can bring about great changes.
This is why I love talking to people about the importance of stretching and daily movement.
Why is stretching important?
Sure, stretching is not a magical quick fix fitness trick that will make you somehow thinner, stronger, or more beautiful. We need to incorporate a variety of movement within our day – making sure to keep a balanced perspective of strength training, cardiovascular training, muscle endurance, body connectivity and flexibility. But stretching, even just a few minutes here and there, can make a big difference in how you feel during your day.
Beyond just improving our range of motion, taking a few minutes throughout the day to focus on some key specific stretches can make a huge difference. Stretching does not demand a huge time commitment, but just look at some of the benefits associated with stretching:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased range of movement in the joints
- Enhanced muscular coordination
- Increased circulation to various parts of the body
- Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
- Delayed onset of muscle fatigue
- Enhanced performance in daily life, sports, or other physical activity
- Improved posture
- Mental relaxation
- Added variety, enjoyment, and satisfaction to your exercise program
- Improves balance and coordination
- Helps alleviate back pain
- Helps improve cardiovascular health
- Decrease the risk of athletic-based injuries
An impressive list, right? Of course the quality and mindfulness that goes into our stretching habits makes a huge difference between killing time and changing your body. [Read more…]