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Stretching Is Self-Care Your Body Needs

Stretching Is Self-Care Your Body Needs

By Kyra Oliver, Personal Trainer

 

Taking the time to provide self-care is crucial in preventing injuries and providing the body with much-needed attention so that we can safely perform day to day tasks. There are two forms of stretching: dynamic stretching and static stretching. 

Dynamic stretching is used to help activate the muscles through a full range of motion.  Getting warmed up is a must before any workout. For example, a runner may choose to perform a few minutes of dynamic stretches to include skips, side shuffles and high knees.

Static stretching encompasses more controlled movements where you hold a single position for a few seconds. Thirty to 45 seconds is typically long enough to allow the muscles to release. While you never want to hold a position that causes pain, allowing time for the muscles to relax helps to keep it elongated and loose verses shortened and tight.

 

Here are the 5 top reasons you should stretch every day:

  1. Stretching helps keep the muscles flexible so that we have a healthy range of motion in our joints.
  2. Stretching allows the muscles to elongate which helps prevent injuries. When they become too tight, it can cause weakness or overcompensation from other muscles.
  3. It helps reduce tension throughout the body; therefore, offering a form of relaxation.
  4. Dynamic stretching aids in performance of physical activities. When our muscles are stretched and warmed up, our muscles are able to perform better.
  5. Static stretching relaxes the muscles after the workout.

 

Below is a video demonstrating a both dynamic stretches and static stretches. For static stretching tools, try using a yoga block or a strap like shown here. A mat can help provide comfort during your stretch.

 

stretch vid photo_preview

 

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