Fitness trends like jogging, exercise, yoga, meditation, and gymming are already familiar to us. No doubt how much all these fitness trends creates a visible impact in our life. We often tend to incorporate all these into our daily lives. But what about the Stretching? Stretching is one of the neglected areas which not only provides tremendous health benefits but also mandatory for keeping our bodies fit and healthy.
Whats is stretching?
Stretching is a kind of physical fitness exercise in which a muscle (or muscle group) is stretched on purpose to its fullest length in order to help the muscle’s elasticity and its tone. This helps a person have better control of his or her muscles and be more flexible. In simple words, Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. This releases pent-up tension and improves the overall movement of your body.
“Stretching after you exercise can help move inflammation out of your muscles and increase blood flow, “says Ben Greenfield, a personal trainer and author of Beyond Training. Spending time lengthening your limbs also has mental benefits. “Going through a series of stretches can reduce stress and cortisol levels,” Greenfield adds.
Miraculous benefits of Stretching habit:
1.Enhancing overall Agility
Regular stretching can help increase your flexibility, which is crucial for your overall health. Not only can improved flexibility helps you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also help delay the reduced mobility that can come with aging.
2.Reduces your risk of injury
A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured if you have to make a sudden move. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you can decrease the resistance on your body’s muscles during various activities.
3.Enhances an Optimistic Outlook
A buildup of stress causes your muscles to contract, making you feel tense and uneasy. This tension can lead to having a negative impact on the mind as well as your body. Stretching exercises have powerful stress-busting abilities.
4. Better posture
Stretching helps ensure correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position and keeping your muscles loose.
5. Make you a happier person
Another benefit that you can get from stretching all of the time is that it can make you feel happier. Stretching is a very light form of exercise, one which helps to promote the production of endorphins by your brain.
Important stretches for a fit body
These are the most important stretches for a fitter body.
1.Stretching exercises for legs
2. Hamstring stretch
3. Back stretches
4. Cobra stretch
5. Lower back stretches
6. Shoulder stretches
7. Calf stretches
Hamstrings are more receptive to injury. People who are active in walking, jogging, dance and sprinting are more susceptible to back pain and leg pain. Keeping these muscles loose is important. Tight hamstrings may be more prone to strain or tearing. There are a number of exercises and stretches that you can do to help keep your hamstrings loose. Breathe normally while doing stretching exercises. Try to incorporate hamstring stretches into your routine at least two or three days each week.
Stretches to loosen tight hamstrings
1.Lying Hamstring Stretch
2. Lying Hamstring Stretch with a Towel
This stretch is a variation of the above stretch. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds. Perform 3-4 rounds.
Many runners, in particular, can have very tight calves, so this stretch is particularly important if you do a lot of high volume cardio. They are also helpful to reduce knee pain and improves flexibility.
1.Calf muscle stretch with a wall
2. Towel Stretch
Shoulder pain or tightness is commonly seen among people. Especially for professionals working in the same position in front of their screens throughout the day. These lengthening and strengthening exercises will also improve flexibility, increase your range of motion, and bring greater comfort and ease to your movements.
1.Cross Body Shoulder Stretch
The spine is an important part of our body. Our day to day activities further put pressure at our muscles supporting the spine. We should do back exercises regularly to keep our spine in good health. It is helpful in reducing tension in muscles supporting the spine; tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions. It also helps in improving range of motion and overall mobility
1.Knees to Chest Stretch
This is a very good exercise for back strengthening. Do this exercise for 10-15 times at a time. You can do this one or times a day.
2.Supine Twist Stretch
This is an awesome exercise for lower back pain. You should hold for 15 seconds. Repeat it 9 times from both sides.
Note: If you have any chronic ailment or you are pregnant, consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any stretching routine.