Adding Years to Your Life
As 2019 rolls on in ready to give you another 365 days of greatness, we need to be ready for the challenge. If you read my last blog, you already took the bull by the horns and began your resolutions last week and didn’t wait for January 1st to start down your path to badassery.
Most of my patients and coaching clients set goals pertaining to health, love and financial freedom. At the top of the list is always 100% health.
You already know that you should eat healthier and exercise. Perhaps meditate and get more rest. Pamper yourself to massage and a regularly scheduled adjustment. Get some acupuncture and cupping. Zen out with a Reiki session and so on. What no-one ever adds to the list is stretching.
Stretching is as much an art and a science as it is a form of physical exercise. It elongates muscles which is needed to maintain a healthy range of motion and avoid injuries. Stretching increases flexibility, improves posture, reduces soreness, promotes circulation and enhances athletic performance. It is also a great way to reduce stress and calm your mind. Endorphins are also released when you stretch.
There’s an ancient adage that proclaims: “You are as young as your spine is flexible.” People who’ve retained the elasticity of their spines and limbs appear youthful and “alive” in middle age and beyond.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of stretching:
Warm up. Stretching when your muscle are cold increase your chances of pulling a muscle. Walk or do a low intensity exercise for at least 5 minutes.
Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. It takes time to elongate muscles.
Breathe while you hold the stretch. You want to oxygenate your muscles.
Don’t bounce. Bouncing can cause micro tears and cause scar tissue.
Don’t make it painful. Take it to a point where you feel a stretch but you’re not experiencing pain.
Do stretch both sides. We tend to be tighter on one side but you must stretch both sides of your body equally.
Stretch before and after your regimen or activity. You will avoid injury and soreness.
Clearly if you have an acute injury, a severe sprain or fracture, you should not stretch.
Most people who suffer from low back pain, about 80% of the population, have extremely tight gluts and hamstrings.