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.
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
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.
- 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 –
- 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!
Join me tomorrow for ‘T’ is for Time – How to get more out of your day.
Let’s Keep Sizzling!