Is stretching healthy?
Stretching is not the focus of many conversations around staying healthy. When asked what the best way to stay fit is, most people naturally respond with “diet and exercise.” But there’s so much more to staying fit, and maintaining wellness, than just the broad categories of nutrition and movement. Running a mile a day or lifting weights is awesome, but recovering from these high intensity workouts is just as important as pursuing them. In this blog we’ll cover the importance of stretching to your recovery and how regular stretching can bolster your wellness practice.
What are the benefits of stretching?
Stretching has many benefits to your body, including the warming up and lengthening of your muscles. Having increased flexibility means maintaining your range of motion. Range of motion plays an important part in many of your basic functions like reaching, bending, and stooping, which can become more difficult with age if stretching isn’t incorporated. It also helps you recover properly from intense workouts and come back to high-energy, high-toll exercises with increased range of motion.
Additionally, keeping your muscles working efficiently increases blood flow to muscle tissue, which can decrease the risk of injury. Of course there are some essentials to go over to make sure you are getting the most out of stretching to increase your flexibility.
When is the best time to stretch?
You may wonder when the best time is to stretch in your daily routine. Many researchers now suggest the best times to stretch are after a warmup and after a workout. Stretching with “cold” or unused muscles can be dangerous, so going for a light walk or jog for 5-10 minutes before stretching is very helpful. After your workout is done, making sure to stretch to cool down is important as well. When your muscles are warm from physical activity, stretching can become easier.
How do you stretch?
All this talk about stretching may have you antsy to get up and move! But especially as we get older, having professional guidance in stretching our muscles is extremely important to prevent injury or further complications. Especially if you’ve suffered a car crash or workplace injury, getting professional assistance, even long after your accident, is our best recommendation to learn how to stretch your body. You only get one life, and you only get one body, so learning to take care of it properly is an important investment of your time!
We have a library of physical therapist- and chiropractor-approved stretches that you can access here or on our YouTube channel. But by far the best way to stretch is to see a professional, like a physical therapist or chiropractor. They can customize your stretching plan to take into account any injuries you may currently have and further prevent additional injuries.
Stretching for an injury
The benefits of stretching are so impactful that our own physical therapists here at BC + PT use stretching as a part of their care routine, as well as many other treatments. Having someone to guide you through your workouts and stretching exercises is highly recommended so that you can effectively heal, especially if you are suffering from a personal injury. To start your wellness journey for less pain and increased mobility, give us a call today or fill out this form to set up an appointment. Stop waiting, start healing!