It seems as if we are always looking for the next gimmick or fad to improve our daily lives, only to have them fail time and time again.
There is no simple and quick way to stay healthy and fit. One workout a week is often not enough to make up for all of the pleasures that we let our self-indulge in, but a stretching routine can be seamlessly transitioned into your day and can benefit you in a variety of ways.
Woman stretching; image source: optmtherapy.com
Equipment To Consider
Calf stretchers are simple to use tools that help build the muscles in the back of the leg for strength, and they can help to prevent injuries.
These can be a good choice for targeting a specific area.
A yoga mat
A yoga mat can provide you with a comfortable place to perform unique poses that stretch out different areas of your body.
Stretch straps can be used to help you achieve maximum flexibility during your workout routine. Rather than targeting a specific area like calf stretchers, these straps target multiple areas.
Ways In Which Stretching Improves Your Daily Life
One of the most obvious ways that stretching improves your life is by making your body more limber and flexible. This can relieve sore muscles, help to prevent injuries whether you play sports or not, and it can help your body achieve its maximum fitness potential.
Even simple stretches, without the use of calf stretchers or other equipment, can help make you bend more easily and reach higher. Stretching can help you take your mind off things and relax. Yoga is centered around relaxing the mind and body while stretching out your core.
The never ending rat race called life can put your mind in a frenzy, but breathing and stretching techniques that often go hand in hand can help you get back to a comfortable state. Improved posture can come from stretching. This helps you on a daily basis because poor posture can lead to sore and aching muscles. By keeping your body loose and ready to face the challenges of the day, your posture will improve, reducing instances of pain from stiff or sore muscles.
We often stretch instinctively, without even realizing it, but with most of our work weeks keeping us confined to our cubicles for over forty hours, more stretching is needed to keep you feeling at your best.
Think About These Things Before Stretching
Instead of focusing on stretching out your entire body, try to focus on the particular areas that are going to be used. For instance, if you are going to go on a run, consider using calf stretchers beforehand to get them loose and ready to go. It may also help reduce an injury from occurring on that part of your body.
Use stretches that promote good arm and leg movement, but also ones that reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.
To stretch before a run, or after, that is the question
Some runners tend to benefit from stretching before a run while others do not. It helps increase the range of motion in some people and is beneficial to them. Others say that you should get your muscles warmed up with a brisk walk or jog before stretching, so some runners tend to stretch after their run.
Do some research and find out which way will benefit you the most. Try both ways and use a trial and error technique to decide when stretching is better for you.
Stretch On Your Own Or Take A Class
There are a variety of different ways for you to incorporate stretching into your routine. Classes such as pilates and yoga are available at most gyms, YMCA’s, or community centers. They have instructors that are trained to give help you achieve the most out of your workout.
However, if you have more of a shy and timid personality, this may pose a problem to you.
Use technology to your advantage. There are a variety of different video game consoles that promote movement and stretching. If you have children, the chances of you already having one on hand are pretty good. This allows you to stretch and feel better in your own home.