‘S’ is for Stretching – The Importance of being flexible especially in midlife

benefits of stretching

Are you sitting down while reading this?  Okay, stand up and gently raise your arms up and S-T-R-E-T-C-H!  Feels good doesn’t it?

Did you know that ‘sitting is the new smoking’?  Meaning it can be just as damaging to our health to sit for long periods of time as it is to smoke!

Society has changed and we are leading a more sedentary lifestyle.  We sit for long periods of time, usually hunched over a desk.  This can play havoc with our body, especially our lower back.

We spend so much time ensuring that we are eating healthy foods and exercise regularly, but we tend to forget about Stretching.  Stretching is such an important part of our exercise program but most of us don’t give it the respect it deserves.

A quick 5 minute stretch is not enough.   A complete exercise program should include at least 15 – 20 minutes of stretching after exercise, with the addition of a one hour yoga or pilates session each week.

Why Stretch?

Stretching not only provides flexibility but it also increases our core strength.  It reduces the risk of injury and also reduces lower back pain.  I have suffered from lower back pain for years but recently did a 30 day challenge of Stretching every day.  My back is no longer painful and I feel great – I even managed to touch my toes two weeks into the challenge!

Harvard medical school Healthbeat suggests:

‘Weak back and abdominal muscles can cause or worsen low back pain. That’s why stretching and strengthening your back and abdominal muscles are important not only for treating low back pain, but also for helping to prevent a recurrence of the problem.’

The importance of stretching as we age

benefits of stretching in midlife

It is a pity that some of us don’t recognise the importance of stretching but it is NEVER TOO LATE TO START!

As we age it is even more important to include stretching into our regular exercise and daily life.  Our joints can become less flexible as we age which will affect our mobility and our balance.

When you Should Stretch?

Stretching is usually done when the muscles are warm after exercise.  Take it gently and STOP if you feel any pain.

Benefits of stretching

Stretching is not just good for your body but as we have seen with exercise it is great for our mental health.

Physically

  • Increased Flexibility
  • Improved Posture
  • Reduces Lower Back Pain
  • Helps prevent loss of mobility as we age
  • Reduces the risk of Injury
  • Reduces stress on muscles used in exercise –

Mentally

  • Brings sense of calm
  • Brings clarity and focus through controlled breathing
  • Decreases stress and tension
  • Increases energy

Try my 30 days to a More Flexible You Challenge. You will be surprised how much your flexibility improves and your body feels stronger.

Here are my 12 Daily Stretches to Improve Flexibility  they aren’t that difficult to do and if you try them everyday you will notice an improvement in 7 days I know I did.

START TODAY YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

#atozchallenge

Join me tomorrow for ‘T’ is for Time – How to get more out of your day.

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10 thoughts on “‘S’ is for Stretching – The Importance of being flexible especially in midlife

  1. Kala Ravi

    Yes, come May, I have a long to-do list to take up, high priority being ‘ME’! Need to read all your wonderful posts and get in touch with a healthier me. Thanks Sue for the wonderful post…gotta go stretch! 😉
    @KalaRavi16 from
    Relax-N-Rave

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      That sounds like a plan Kala! I’m looking forward to getting to know you and reading your wonderful interior design poss – they are certainly providing inspiration for me. 🙂 Have a great day!

      Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Good for you Deepti! I really found doing the 30 days of stretching improved my flexibility no end. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jeffrey Scott

    I can see how easy it would be to overlook stretching. When I go for a jog sometimes, I forget to stretch before hand. Usually, it’s harder for me to finish a 5K if I have not stretched first. I wonder where stretching would place if you were to randomly ask strangers for the top five important things to remember when exercising. Would stretching be in the list? I wonder.

    Reply
  3. [email protected]

    nothing like a good stretch – especially after you’ve been sitting at a computer for way too long! It’s also the best part of any exercise routine 🙂 Leanne @ cresting the hill

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      No I love it Leanne I feel great after stretching and the more I do it the more flexible I feel.

      Reply
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