Anyone who has played sports or taken a gym class in high school remembers stretching to warm up for an activity. As we have grown older, many of us have stopped stretching for a variety of reasons. While we may not be playing softball or kickball on a daily basis, stretching is still very important. Stretching promotes a wide variety of benefits that can increase your range of motion and promote healing. Whether you work out regularly or live a more sedentary lifestyle, stretching is something that should be done routinely.
Different Types of Stretching
There are two main types of stretching, Static and Dynamic. There is no wrong choice in what type of stretching you choose. Picking Static or Dynamic Stretching based on your lifestyle can bring additional benefits. When deciding what type of stretching is best for you, think of the outcome you are trying to achieve. If one particular area seems tight, Static Stretching is the best way to stretch individual muscles. Static Stretching is the most common type of stretching. It is when you stretch and hold for 30 seconds while standing or sitting in one position. If you are looking for a stretch that targets a variety of different muscle groups, Dynamic Stretching is the best way to do so. Dynamic Stretching is when you stretch while moving, i.e. running, high knees, or lunges.
Physical Benefits of Stretching
One of the benefits of stretching is that it can reverse the signs of aging. It is no secret that as we get older we get a little stiffer. By regularly stretching you can increase flexibility and range of motion. Stretching regularly may also help alleviate back pain. Back pain can be caused by tight muscles or poor posture. By regularly keeping those muscles loose, back pain will not only go away, but it can also be prevented from coming back.
Mental Benefits of Stretching
While stretching can help physical pain, it is also mentally therapeutic. Muscles can become tense as a response to increased stress. The bodies reaction to stress can cause pain and even headaches. Stretching alleviates the stress that can become built up in your muscles. When you stretch, focus on yourself and ignore outside distractions. While it isn’t a 60-minute massage, stretching promotes a calm mind and can be done in your home.
If you want to know more about how stretching can improve your overall health and wellness, speak with one of our licensed Massage Therapists today.