Why everyone should be doing this daily
Stretch yourself to better health
Stretching… Our 5 top tips to keep you Fit-2-Work
Stretching is often associated with the end of an exercise routine or a yoga class and although this is a key activity which is often missed during sport and exercise, many people neglect the need for stretching on a daily basis.
When the body is stationary for long periods of time muscles can become tight and weak, causing restricted movement in our joints as well as postural imbalances which can lead to pain.
Daily stretching is like changing the oil in your car – the little inconvenience that can make a huge difference, guarding against breakdowns and helping things to run optimally.
Although stretching doesn’t have to be seen as an inconvenience…
Our 5 top tips will keep you Fit-2-Work and make stretching an irreplaceable part of your daily routine.
1. Stretch for your health
Static stretching is the traditional ‘reach and hold’ elongation of muscles. Studies have shown that this method can increase flexibility and strength as well as lowering cortisol (the stress hormone).
Static stretches are great for injury prevention and reducing tension, whether you’ve had a hard day at work or a heavy session in the gym.
2. Make it count
Timings for stretching are crucial. Maintenance stretches are those with the intention of maintaining a good healthy functional range of movement for everyday living, these should be held statically for 10-15 seconds.
Developmental stretches are those with the intention of stretching to improve flexibility of a specific muscle that may lack sufficient function, or where a greater range of movement is desired. These should be held statically for 15 seconds or more.
3. Multi-task stretching
This is simply stretch at every opportunity! Taking time out of your day solely for stretching can become a monotonous task, so throw in your daily stretches at every chance. When watching TV, on the phone or even during comfort breaks between tasks. This will help you to improve your health, fitness and flexibility with minimum effort.
4. Go dynamic to maximise energy
Dynamic stretching refers to stretches combined with movement, and there is evidence to suggest that this type of stretching can be more effective than static stretching when used in a warm up as preparation for further physical activity.
Dynamic stretching has also been shown to increase core temperature and blood flow to the active muscles, as a result increasing oxygen uptake, alertness and energy.
5. Stretch but avoid injury
A good stretch can be an easy route to improving your flexibility and decreasing postural imbalances and back pain. However, taking a stretch too far can be the quickest route to an injury. Remember that stretching shouldn’t be painful, although can at times it can be uncomfortable.
The key to an effective developmental stretch is to find a point of full range in a joint. This may produce a mild discomfort, after which focus on the muscle relaxing as you slowly exhale and ease into the stretch. Always remember to stretch only to the point of tension and not pain.
5 STRETCHING TOP TIPS SUMMARISED
1. Stretch regularly
2. Stretch for the right time
3. Combine with other tasks
4. Do dynamic stretches
5. Always avoid pain
Make stretching an essential part of your daily routine
to improve your health and stay Fit-2-Work.
More News & Articles