You may have seen an athlete stretching his limbs before the start of the game. You may have been impressed by the fluid motions of a dancer in the middle of stretching her legs prior to the ballet. There’s no doubt about the flexibility of these people, what with the amount of training and practice they’ve had.
However, if your notion of flexibility only applies to the likes of athletes and dancers, then you’re mistaken. Stretching is a habit you’re into as well-when you zip the back of your black dress or when you bend down to reach the pen you dropped on the floor. You can do these things because of your body’s flexibility.
Whenever you stretch, you extend your body to its full length. Or you may also just stretch your limbs, whereby you straighten its structure. Stretching is a rather mundane activity and can well be done by people of any age. However, our range of stretching lessens as we age. Ever noticed your grandfather complaining about how difficult it is to bend? As we age, our muscles constrict and our joint movements become reduced. But we can prevent these if we take on stretching exercises.
Adopting a stretching routine stretches your fitness level. Here are the benefits in store for you:
1. Stretching regularly lengthens your muscles and tendons, thereby significantly increasing their range of motion.
2. Stretching helps you cope with the demands of an active lifestyle. As you get a wider range of movement, you can do more things with lesser effort. You can also boost your energy level as you become more confident of your body’s ability to do varied activities.
3. Injuries and soreness are likely avoided when your muscles and tendons are well-flexed. Perhaps you’re doing exercises to lose weight-you won’t be bothered by the pangs of your rigorous routine because your muscles can recover faster.
4. Muscle pains will no longer be a problem as constant exercise and stretching limits the muscle’s tendencies to contract. You can thus do your other fat burning exercises with ease.
5. Studies have shown that prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, foster lower levels of cholesterol. Cardiovascular diseases are also avoided as stretching exercises reverse the hardening of the blood vessels
Basic stretching exercises can be incorporated in your everyday routine. Perhaps you can do this after waking up and before going to bed. Stretching is also a prerequisite for training. Before doing your fat burning exercises, you may have been advised by your trainer to stretch first-more so with athletes in their training. Stretching prepares the body for rigorous activities.
As you take on a stretching routine, don’t keep it for more than 30 minutes. You body will already be worn out by then. Ten minutes is the ideal length of time, during which your body can already move about and flex the muscles.
With all its fitness benefits, stretching exercises ought to be incorporated in your lifestyle. It perfectly complements your exercises to lose weight, and it enhances your condition to take on fat burning exercises. You may well be on your way to being as flexible as the athlete or dancer whom you’ve been eyeing.