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Stretch to Your Heart's Content

By Donna Stark

It's extremely simple and very inexpensive. You can do it anywhere, you don't need any special equipment for it, and if you are in a pinch, you could probably even do it in your work clothes. On top of that, it could very well be the most essential and beneficial part of your daily fitness routine. In fact, it provides so much good to the body, it's almost unbelievable that so many people tend to overlook it. Interested in hearing about what it is? It's stretching.

Stretch to Your Heart's Delight

Maybe you stretch your arms above your head in the morning or perhaps you do a quick stretch or two before your run in the evening, but have you ever considered incorporating some serious stretching into your daily fitness routine? You may want to. Take a look at what daily stretching can do for your body.

  • Increases flexibility, agility, and balance
  • Allows for easier movement
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Alleviates pain, soreness, and discomfort
  • Encourages relaxation
  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Increases circulation
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Improves mental alertness
  • Lowers the risk of injury

The Natural Way to Feel Better

Wow! What an easy way to naturally feel better, right? But don't start yet! No matter how simple stretching may seem, there are some tips you should know so you can perform the stretches safely and effectively. Check them out.

  • Warm up - Take a few minutes to warm up your muscles before you start to stretch. Go for a very short walk, jog in place, or travel back to elementary school and throw out some good, old-fashioned jumping jacks!
  • Slow and steady - Always be sure to stretch slowly and hold it in a steady position. Avoid bouncing!
  • Modifications - If you are nursing an injury or if pain is present, don't worry! It's perfectly OK if you need to modify the stretches.
  • Pain-free stretching - Stretching should not hurt, so don't take yourself to the point of pain. You only want to feel slightly uncomfortable and you should feel the stretch in your muscles, not your joints!
  • Equal sides - What you do for one side, do for the other. Complete each stretch in the same way for both sides of your body.

Start Those Stretches Today!

It's never too late to incorporate stretching into your fitness routine, so go ahead and start today! In addition to improving your overall wellness, setting some extra time aside to stretch every day can also improve your quality of life by helping to keep your body in motion! And that's not something you want to overlook!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodbury, Minn.

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