We’ve addressed our water intake, and the importance of self-care, so today we’re going to discuss daily stretching. This is something that gains importance as you age and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my flexibility as I grow older.
I sit at a desk all day and I often feel stiff and tight. In addition to that, my activity level and heavy workouts has made stretching imperative to help with getting blood to the muscles which aids with recovery time and reduces soreness.
Other benefits of stretching include:
- increases your flexibility
- increases your range of motion
- improves your posture
- great stress reliever and can calm your mind
- can prevent injury
You can stretch any time during the day, so pick a time that is most convenient for you. I prefer end of day, but Todd prefers first thing in the morning. Aim to do 5 – 10 minutes of stretching daily. The aim is to find a time that won’t be too inconvenient. Remember, stretching is part of a self-care routine. As your stretching listen to music, your favorite podcast or you can meditate.
On exercise days, you’ll want to perform 5-10 minutes prior to working out and 5-10 minutes post-workout.
Forms of Stretching
There are two forms of stretching that you’ll do on fitness days: static and dynamic.
Dynamic stretching are active movements that cause your muscles to stretch but are not held. This is perfect as warm-up. Try these dynamic stretches: walking knee to chest, lunge walk with a twist, straight leg kick, heal-to-butt jog and jumping jacks.
Static stretching involves holding a stretch for 10 – 30 seconds and should be done post workout as a cool down. A few examples are: standing ham string stretch, adductor stretch, glutes stretch, low back stretch, arm and shoulder stretch.