Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back. This week's tip comes from Diana (@DianaKlatt). So lets jump right in. Most people associate stretching with yoga or gymnastics, but it’s this misconception that gets people confused. Many people don’t seem to understand that stretching should be part of your daily routine, or at least part of your exercise routine.
Most people spend the majority of their day sitting (in chairs, in the car, on a train, etc.) and thus end up with tight hamstrings, for example. Slowly over time this can lead to a reduction in your overall range of motion because of the elastic properties within your muscles and tendons. Regularly stretching can help prevent this! Stretching keeps muscles flexible, strong, and healthy – which all aid in maintaining proper range of motion for your joints.
That’s not the only place you might start to notice issues if you’re not stretching. Lets say you’re working on your gym gains, lifting a lot, but not stretching at all. Over time that cumulative weight you’re lifting will cause a similar reaction of tightening and shortening in your muscles. See a pattern? Stretching isn’t just for yoga or for those that do sports that are demanding of flexibility, it’s for everyone – the average desk worker, bodybuilder, runner, weekend warrior, you name it – if you have a body, you should be stretching!
When is the best time to stretch? After you’ve warmed up your muscles. Can you imagine trying to bend a noodle before it’s been cooked? No, it would snap in half. Stretching isn’t just going to work it’s magic overnight, for those that suffer from shortening hamstrings (ie everyone…) you can start by incorporating a bit of stretching into your daily routine, slowly working your way to being able to touch your toes but not forcing it. And once you gain that flexibility, don’t stop! Your body will revert back because muscles adapt to what you use them for, you can’t just expect your body to stay flexible once you get there.
- WW Crew