2 min read ·

Staying Healthy Together

Trust us when we tell you — we all have never needed a daily stretching ritual more than now! And if there’s one universal truth about stretching, it’s that we all should do it. Yet few of us actually do. Fitness experts say it’s the part of a workout that most people tend to skip. It can make a huge difference in how your muscles respond to exercise. Stretching warms your muscles, and warm muscles are more pliant.

Stretching…

  1. Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion
  2. Reduces your risk of injury
  3. Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains
  4. Improves posture
  5. Helps reduce or manage stress
  6. Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation
  7.  Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance
  8. Prepares the body for the stress of exercise
  9. Promotes circulation
  10. Decreases the risk of low-back pain

 

Tips & Tricks:

Truth — It’s safer to stretch a warm muscle, and warm muscles are more relaxed and have greater range of motion. A light run in place will get you warmed up enough.

False — Stretching should be uncomfortable. Actually, if stretching is painful, you’re going too far. Instead, move into a stretch, and stop when you feel tension. Breathe deeply while you hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Then relax, and repeat the stretch, trying to move a little bit further into it during the second stretch.

Static Stretch — involves holding a stretch in a comfortable position for a period of time, typically between 10 and 30 seconds. This form of stretching is most beneficial after you exercise. This is considered the safest way to stretch — done gently, it allows muscles and connective tissue time to “reset” the stretch reflex.

Dynamic Stretch — active movements that cause your muscles to stretch, but the stretch is not held in the end position. These stretches are usually done before exercise to get your muscles ready for movement.

{ TIP } : 

Use dynamic stretches before exercise to prepare your muscles.
Use static stretches after exercise to reduce your risk for injury.

Breathe! — Proper breathing helps to relax the body, increases blood flow throughout the body, and helps to mechanically remove lactic acid and other by-products of exercise. You should be taking slow, relaxed breaths when you stretch, trying to exhale as the muscle is stretching. The proper way to breathe is to inhale slowly through the nose, expanding the abdomen (not the chest); hold the breath a moment; then exhale slowly through the nose or mouth. Inhaling through the nose has several purposes including cleaning the air and insuring proper temperature and humidity for oxygen transfer into the lungs.

Fitness:

Now that we understand how important stretching is for our bodies, let’s dive in with a simple Daily 5-Minute Stretching Routine! This week we are encouraging you work on developing and fine tuning this habit. Grab your spouse, kids, or whoever may be in your home to join along… this one’s for all ages and any skill level.

More advanced, or have a little more time on your hands for a full body routine? (psstt… this totally counts for today’s workout), HERE is one of our favorites.

Run this PLAYLIST through your home speaker for an upgraded experience, and we’ll meet you in our calm place. Namaste.

Resources:

Kinect MD

Mary Ochsner | Yoga

Stretching: The Truth – The New York Times

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