I love stretching and I really don’t do it enough. Stretching is excellent to do when you get up in the morning or right before going to sleep. It’s always important to stretch after exercise so you don’t wake up the next morning tense and sore. Even if you’ve walked more than you normally do you should still stretch afterwards (trust me, I walked a total of 10kms yesterday and am feeling it today!).
It’s also important to know how to stretch correctly.
Stretching isn’t about burning calories. It’s about warming up and cooling down your muscles. It’s also about minimizing your risk to injury. It will also improve your flexibility.
Here’s some tips for stretching.
- Remember to breathe. Many people hold their breath which makes it more difficult. Breathe into each of your stretches and take calm, controlled breaths to help you through.
- You should feel minor discomfort when stretching but if you’re feeling pain, you’re pushing yourself too far and can cause damage. Only go as far as you can.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Some people are naturally flexible and can easily place their hands on the ground with straight legs. Others can’t. It doesn’t matter how far you can go, what matters is that you are stretching your muscles and this will happen regardless of how far you can stretch.
- Hold each position for 30 seconds if you can manage it, and if you can’t straight away, build up to 30 seconds. It’s the perfect amount of time for your muscles to work and have a good impact.
- If you are wanting to build your flexibility, stretching twice a day will help you. Even 10 minutes, twice a day will have a dramatic impact in as little as two weeks.
Pretty simple right? Even you can go from this:
(actual results may vary)