Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Exercise and Fitness

10 Tips for Stretching

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Our lives today are busier than they have ever been. With communications just a click or a call away we are subject to being ‘plugged in’ twenty-four-seven, couple that with the pressures of modern city living and a schedule that keeps us busy all day and sometimes all night. So it’s understandable if you don’t have time to make it down to the gym and onto the treadmill every day. However, just because you don’t have the time to do that, doesn’t mean that you don’t have the time to stretch properly every day. The benefits of stretching are numerous and the time it takes to do it effectively is minimal, probably the best part of all is that you can do it as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, right there on the floor with no fancy equipment or instruction needed.

Image @ Wikimedia

Image @ Wikimedia

The benefits of stretching include a  greater sense of well-being from the expulsion of free radicals and toxins that build up in your system over time and start to lend your body into a state of un-wellness and unease, possibly ending up in disease. So by stretching regularly you will be able to keep your body functioning at a high level of efficiency that will give you more energy as you go throughout your day.

Convinced yet? We bet you would like a little more energy yes? We have ten tips in this article to assist you with planning and implementing a stretching routine, so let’s get things started!

  1. Plan your stretch set out in advance, don’t just wing it. You want to build your routine, so that you follow the same set of movements every day and get your body used to the rhythm of the routine. It is fine to make little tweaks as you go along, exchanging exercises and positions to ones that better suit your body type.
  2. Research online for some great sites like this one and look thru the repertoire of stretching techniques. Choose 5 to 6 six stretches that cover the lower, upper and core sections of your body, two stretches for each and find one posterior and one anterior stretch to counter the bodies range of motion. So two for the legs, i.e., one for the hamstrings and one for the quadriceps, another one for your back and your core or abdominal/hip region and another for your neck.
  3. Start from the bottom up, begin with the legs, then the core and back and then the neck.
  4. Remember to breathe. Breathing is critical, make sure you take long, slow, deep breaths and breathe into the pit of your stomach while keeping your mouth closed and your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Make sure to exhale for twice as long as you inhale.
  5. When you can, keep your eyes closed and focus on the feeling in your muscles and your cardio system. This helps to build the ‘mind-muscle connection’ yes, it really does exist and by taking out the visual component of the exercise it gives your body further insight into itself and a greater sense of connecte-ness between the mind and body.
  6. Keep your chin up at all times. Not to the point where you are craning your neck back, but slightly elevated. This allows for better clearing of the airways and better breathing and also lends to better posture and mastering of the techniques.
  7. Remember just that, this is a technique, so constantly be aware of the posture you are using and adjust it as necessary to keep the position.
  8. When your form starts to break down, i.e. you begin to lose posture, then you know it is time to move onto the next stretch. Hold each position for a maximum of two to three minutes before moving on. Two minutes may not sound like a lot, but trust us, when you get going, it will seem like an eternity at first.
  9. Make sure to sink deep into every stretch, don’t cheat or half-do it, or rather just don’t do it at all, as you breathe out, sink further into the stretch with every breath.
  10. stay committed to your plan and do it every day, only through repetition will you improve and begin to see results in your life. At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and if you are ready to commit to yourself, then results will eventually show up! Good luck!

From the article source:

We are McBryde Mats, a sports mat manufacturer that’s based out of Lubbock, Texas. Our CEO, Clayton McBryde, founded the company in 2014 after plenty of research and consideration into the mat market – Today we pride ourselves on making the best quality mats at affordable prices to keep athletes in all sports categories safe from accidents and injury.


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