I noticed a great deal of stretching from our dogs, Maggie and Molly. After a nap, they would stretch and stretch before getting up on their feet. It seemed they used stretching as a relaxing way to get ready for the next activity. Do humans engage in the same amount of stretching? Do you stretch your way to flexibility?
Stretching promotes flexibility and can help maintain a healthy range of motion. Not only does it improve motion in your joints and muscles, but it can also lower the chances of strain and injury.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching is another component of a healthy lifestyle. It can help to:
- Keep you limber
- Improve your balance
- Help you perform daily activities
- Prevent falls
Stretching can be a part of your weekly activity routine. It should include all the muscle groups like
neck, shoulders, chest, trunk, lower back, hips, legs and ankles. Stretches can be static (stretch while being still) or dynamic (stretch while moving). A stretch routine can use both types of stretches. A stretch can be done for 20-30 seconds and can be done all at once or split up into 2 or 3 repetitions. If you want more ideas on stretching, please reach out.
Some of the most common stretches are
- Neck roll-slowly roll from side to side in the front, then in the back (dynamic)
- Shoulder roll-slowly roll up and forward then up and back (dynamic)
- Chest-sit up straight and put both palms behind your head (static)
- Trunk-lay on back and slowly move bent knees from side to side keeping shoulders on the floor (dynamic)
- Lower back-lay on back and slowly move one knee to your chest keeping the other leg on the floor (dynamic)
- Hips-kneel on your right leg and bend your left leg in front for stability (static)
- Legs-bend down slowly and touch your toes (static)
- Ankles-sit with feet flat on floor and raise and lower your heels then your toes (dynamic)
Stretches can be accomplished while on the phone, waiting in line, riding in a car, sitting, watching TV, or working on the computer. When else can you easily fit in a few stretches so you can stretch your way to flexibility?
Connect with a Coach/Accountability Partner
Fitness Life By Design is for those of us who want to remain healthy and active as the years fly by. Fitness and exercise can’t make you younger, but it can help you feel and maybe look more youthful during the aging process.
I cherish a healthy life style. I have developed many healthy habits that have led me to my “Fitness Life By Design” lifestyle. My purpose and mission is to coach, inspire, and teach others who want to change their current habits and take the necessary steps to create new habits and routines that will lead them to living their desired “Fitness Life By Design”.