We all are well aware of the benefit of regular exercise, however most of us don’t give the same importance to the stretching Stretching is in fact equally important for our body health and to have a productive life style.
It’s not only useful for healthy individuals but also for the ones recovering from joint and other issues and also for the old age people.
Stretching is not for athletes only
No doubt an athlete and sportsmen need to stretch their body parts regularly to stay in top shape and perform their sports efficiently. However, they are not the only ones who need to stretch their body regularly. Everyone, of any age, can and must benefit from the stretching exercises.
Stretching for children
Note that the body of children is fragile and different from the normal adults. It’s said that children are not just young adults, but an entirely different entity and thus the exercises done for stretching by kids are to be properly assessed. Don’t try to impose the adult’s exercises and limits on children, consult an expert for tips and guidance.
Stretching for old age people
Old age brings a lot of changes in our body and life style. Due to the combination of lack of activity and bodily changes, the joints of the body start becoming stiff and eventually resulting in reduction in range of motion. The key is to continue regular exercise so that the body parts and joints can keep working normally.
Regular stretching exercises keep the joints from getting stiff and can also help revert the stiffness in most cases. Consult an expert if there is any marked stiffness and reduction in range of motion so that they can advice proper stretching exercises and physiotherapy exercises for your joints.
Stretching for recovering joints from immobilization
There can be many reasons due to which a single or multiple joints of a patient’s body might be immobilized. E.g. due to fracture, the upper and lower joints to the fractured part of bone are usually immobilized.
These patients need physiotherapy regularly and stretching exercises after the fracture has healed and plaster is removed, so that the joint stiffness can be prevented and reversed if it has already occurred, to prevent the loss of range of movement of that joint. Delay in physiotherapy or stretching can result in irreversible loss of range of movement at the stiff or immobilized joint.
Consult an expert if you have any stiff or immobilized joint so that he can suggest physiotherapy and stretching exercises specifically for your condition.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching has a lot of benefits for our body and in improving life style. Some of the benefits are:
Stretching relieves pain
Stretching is helpful in relieving pain of certain types including muscle spasm and also after exercise. Remember those muscle pains after gym or martial arts class? You can easily avoid or at least reduce them by doing stretching after the class.
Stretching enhances flexibility
Pretty obvious one, stretching enhances flexibility of the joints and the body. This is not only helpful for gymnasts, martial artists and other sportsmen, but also for general public. Increased flexibility allows more range of movement at body joints and thus helps in many routine tasks too.
A full split can also help you show off among your friends ;)
Stretching enhances energy level
Stretching provides stability and more control on your body and eventually enhances energy level and the feeling of having a better self.
Stretching improves blood circulation to different parts of body
Stretching relieves pressure on various joints and parts of body and thus enhances the blood circulation, also due to movement during the activity.
This is especially helpful for stiff joints and also after exercise. If the body parts and joints are not stretched after some strength exercise or resistance training, it may end up accumulating lactic acid and other toxins in that part of the body and muscles and result in pain. Warming down and stretching after the gym class can prevent this pain.
Stretching relaxes the mind
Yoga includes a lot of stretching exercises too! Stretching relaxes the body and thus eventually relaxes the mind! It helps relieve stress and helps in balancing out negative energy from the body.
Other benefits of stretching
The list of benefits of stretching goes on! Some benefits of stretching in list form include:
Improves range of movement for body joints
Improves overall energy level
Improves muscle coordination
Enhances good posture
Enhances blood circulation to various parts of the body
Relieves stress and helps to relax the mind and the body
Enhances the sense of well-being
How much stretching is necessary?
This is a very broad question. How much stretching is required depends upon the needs of a person. A normal person needs enough stretching to help him or her carry out daily routine tasks efficiently with good range of movement at various joints of their body.
However, an athlete or sportsman needs to have good stretching at almost all major joints of the body, even if they aren’t going to do gymnastics with it! The stress and movement required by various joints during simple activity like jogging or running needs good stretching too!
Remember that the stretching is not only for gymnasts and athletes or the people having joint issues. It’s for everyone. Stretching is as helpful and necessary for our body as regular exercise is! It helps the people recovering from the illness and injuries as well as healthy ones and the old age people.
Stretching is important not only to revert the joint stiffness and other issues but also to prevent them from stiffness and to avoid reduction in range of movement at various body joints, as that would hinder daily routine tasks of a person too.
Remember that there are various types of stretching including static and dynamic stretching. Learn and get guidance from the experts for the best stretching exercises that can be helpful in your specific case, specially if you’re too young, too old or have any physical disability and are looking for stretching exercises to fix any joints or any other related issue.