Looking for something that is good for your mind and body? Need something you can do at home with little to no equipment?
You might want to dip your toe into the world of stretching. It can be a quick 5 minute part of your daily routine or a whole workout.
If you want a more "intense" stretching-centered workout: yoga mixes strength and lengthening exercises together!
Stretching focuses on lengthening your muscles. Stretching is good for bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and skin, but our muscles are where we can really improve our range of motion and flexibility.
Benefits of stretching:
Increased range of motion
Reduced risk of injury
Reduce tension headaches
Incorporating stretching into your routine
You can add stretching into your day at different times for different purposes.
In the morning: Stretching n the morning can help you wake up quickly by increasing blood flow. It can also decrease your chance of injury if you have back problems that become inflamed while sleeping.
Throughout the day: Stretching periodically during the day can help with blood flood and ease tension headaches that might occur from looking at a screen.
Before a workout: Performing dynamic (moving) stretches before exercise can improve your performance and decrease your risk of injury, it is not meant to increase flexibility.
After a workout: Stretching after a workout is the best time if your goal is to improve flexibility. Your muscles are their most pliable when warm, take advantage of that!
Before bed: A calming exercise like stretching can help the mind and body wind down before bed. While we sleep our muscles are being repaired, if we stretch before bed our muscles are healed while elongated.
4 things to keep in mind when stretching
Hold it! A stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds to improve flexibility.
Focus! Prioritize areas of your body that are tight, no need to worry about stretching every single muscle.
Breath. Taking slow deep breathes can help you relax and increase blood flow.
Take your time. Like all exercises, stretching can take a few weeks to see results.