I know some people don’t include stretching as part of their daily routine but stretching is really important as it has many benefits. It helps maintain the health of your muscles, relieves soreness and cramping, improve your flexibility and helps maintain good posture.
It really doesn’t matter what level of fitness you are at, what age you are or how healthy you are. Incorporating 15-20 mins of stretching an have lasting benefits for your body.
15-20 mins of stretching can relive stress, anxiety or mild depression. Improves your circulation and moves muscles out of their natural position into a resting length, relieving soreness and stress.
As we know it decreases the possibility of injury before and after a workout and helps maintain your mobility in the joints.
Yoga and Pilates are popular workouts because they promote connection between the mind, body and spirit so by stretching regularly you become in tune with your body and is very aware which muscles are likely to be sore and which ones need more attention.
For maximum bone and muscle health try to stretch 15-20 mins daily and add an hour stretching to your weekly schedule. You will see the difference in your mobility and posture. You’ll be less sore and less stressed.
Stretch frequently, flexing tight joints and shaking out tense limbs. Stretch till you feel a pull but it shouldn’t be painful
Hold the stretch for ten seconds to increase circulation, 40-60 seconds to lengthen the muscle
Breathe easy while holding the stretch. Slow fill breaths as this gets more oxygen to your muscles and prevents straining.
If you have had recent surgery or injury or you feel a sharp pain when stretching, consult your Doctor before you continue with your stretching routine.
If your stretching routine feels good, can you imagine what a Deep Tissue Massage or a Swedish Massage can do?
Stretching and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and haven’t been doing any regular exercise workouts, stretching in it’s self can help with minor aches and pains. If you combine a stretching workout with a deep breathing exercises, it’s a great way to relax.
If done daily stretching improves your range of motion and can help you have a more comfortable pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your posture tends to shift to redistribute the weight of your growing little one which can result in a tight back, neck, shoulders and chest.
While stretching is essential in pregnancy, you are also more vulnerable to injury during this time due to a hormone called Relaxin which is released from the placenta to help relax your joints and ligaments preparing your body for birth so it’s easy to overstretch and get injured so please take it slowly making each movement controlled and gradual. Never bounce or make any rapid jerky movements.
Always be aware of what your body is feeling whist engaging in any exercise, if you start to feel pain or start shaking just stop. Always remember to breathe properly as you stretch. Exhale when you move to stretch and inhale when you relax as you hold the stretch your breathing should be controlled and deep and you should feel your lower abdomen expand as you inhale. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.
Always check with your Midwife or Doctor to make sure you are ok to go ahead. Maybe they might have some ideas on which particular stretches will be beneficial for you or you could seek out a professional Pregnancy Yoga Teacher online that will be able to support you on your pregnancy journey.