Stretch Up for Better Health
Stretching may seem like it’s just for dancers, runners, and yogis. But with so many health benefits, it should be a part of everybody’s fitness regimen.
Stretching can improve your posture, relieve stress, and ease aches and pains, but your joints might be the biggest beneficiaries of a stretching routine.
Our joints need all the support they can get, especially as we get older. Stretching is important because it improves your joints’ range of motion. Range of motion refers to the potential movement of each joint, which can be limited when your muscles and tendons are tight or tense.
A limited range of motion can lead to irregular movement or walking patterns and muscle imbalances, putting excess stress on the joints. Your joints can handle a little extra stress now and then, but if you don’t correct the problem, you’re headed straight for joint pain and injury.
Flexibility is key to protecting your body while exercising and playing sports, but it also makes all of your daily activities much easier. Stretching each day can also help delay the reduced mobility that comes with aging.
It’s important to know a couple different types of stretches to maximize their benefits.
Dynamic stretches (like walking with high knees or shuffling side to side) are controlled movements during a warm-up that stretch and prepare the muscles for activity. Aim for 5-10 minutes before exercising.
Static stretches involve holding a position for at least 30 seconds and are best to do for 5-10 minutes after activity to prevent soreness and injury.
A physical therapist can guide you to the stretches that will be most effective for any particular joint pain or muscle tightness you have, but here are a few general tips:
Ease into position without bouncing or making jerky movements. Stretch until you feel a gentle tug—stretching shouldn’t be painful. Help yourself relax by exhaling as you move into the stretch.
It’s valuable to stretch the major muscles from head to toe, even if you aren’t focusing your exercise on a particular area. Everything is connected and a full-body stretch will help you feel balanced and comfortable.
You may even find that stretching during the day gives you a moment of quiet meditation to calm your mind. A gentle stretching routine at night may help you relax and prepare for sleep.
Start stretching for just a few minutes each day, and soon you’ll start seeing the health benefits of your new routine.
Let’s get healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
Inflammation is a natural process in the body that happens when it is trying to heal from an infection, injury,...
As Dr. Juan says, Hispanics have a slight disadvantage when it comes to blood sugar. Being an adult Hispanic means...
Should men follow a skincare routine? Definitely! Taking care of the skin is always important regardless of gender or age....
Join the Santo Remedio family
Sign up for product giveaways, discounts, and tips from Dr. Juan