Why do we stretch?
- Stretching is useful for both injury prevention and treatment.
- Stretching increases flexibility which directly translates into reduced risk of injury. Stretching allows a greater range of motion, making you less likely to experience an injury.
- Stretching enhances your balance, coordination, and circulation.
- Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
- Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance on tasks such as lifting and bending.
- Stretching promotes better posture. Frequent stretching keeps your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture and minimize aches and pains.
- Stretching can relieve stress. It relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
- Stretching before work-related tasks focuses people on working safely.
Tips for stretching safely:
- If you are being treated by a medical provider, follow their instructions.
- Stretching is a key part of your exercise program.
- Stretching before work or physical activity can prepare your body for exercise.
- Stretching after work promotes a better range of motion for your joints.
- When you’re stretching:
- Stay within your comfort range. Expect to feel some tension while you’re stretching. If you feel pain, you’ve gone too far.
- Move slowly and support your body.
- Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds.
- Breathe freely as you hold each stretch; try not to hold your breath.
Some stretching essentials:
- Target major muscle groups:
- When you’re stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders.
- Stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use, at work or play.
- Warm up first:
- Stretching muscles when they’re cold increases your risk of injury, including pulled muscles.
- Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five minutes.
- Remember to stretch after you exercise, when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching.
- How often to stretch:
- As a general rule, stretch before and after a manual task or exercise, as well as after being in a static posture (e.g., driving).
Taking a few minutes to do a series of stretches can make your whole body feel better. Stretch spontaneously throughout the day whenever you feel tense.
all Content from Succeed Manager.