How Stretching can help you
How flexible are you? Well to answer this try standing up, reaching over and touching your toes with your legs straight. The distance your finger tips are away from your toes will give you a clear answer to this question. It is very tempting to avoid stretching, whether you’re just going for a “light jog” or a heavy session stretching is paramount to your health and wellbeing. How stretching can help you underpins your daily activity, if you’re gearing up for a full exercise class or don’t plan on doing anything all day stretching on a daily basis can enormous effects on your overall health. Daily stretching is a healthy habit to get into, at Fresh Start boot camp we certainly promote a good stretch every day, and here’s why.
Move More, Pain Less
A daily routine of stretching can really relive you of stiff and aching muscles and joints. ‘Dynamic’ or movement stretches are key to a reduction of pain, and a reduction of lactic acid build up. Stretching through a range of motion such as shoulder shrugs, hips twists, slow squats and knee lifts can really improve your, range of motion. Every inch counts here as your body becomes supple your range of motion will improve, your body adapts to this and improves its ability to move and perform these stretches. Don’t get left behind, stretch your way to a pain free movement.
During everyday life, at home with the kids, in work all day or up for your early morning swim very often you can find yourself exhausted by mid-afternoon. A daily stretch can really boost your metabolism, blood flow and brain function to give you the kick you need. Put down the all singing all dancing 3pm mochaskimlattechino coffee and slow stretch your large muscle groups to pull you out of that sluggish feeling.
Talking of mochaskimlattechinos’, or whatever your fix is exercise is well known to keeping your glucose levels in check. Not only will replacing your coffee fix with a good stretch help reduce your calorie intake but actually dynamic stretching for up to 30 minutes can help reduce blood sugar levels. This ability to stretch your body and develop an ability to increase metabolism, lower blood sugar counts and adapt to a healthier daily habit is enough to get anyone up and moving. A short 15 to 30 minute stretching of larger muscle groups can help keep these important vitals in check.
It is difficult to make stretching your priority; here at Fresh start boot camp we do understand that. Stretching has always been a means to an end, stretch first then workout then finish. But its ok to create time purely for stretching, this is how important it is for your overall wellbeing. Feeling or being flexible may not seem like it puts you at a disadvantage or inhibits you on a day to day basis. But throughout our boot camp we prioritise time to stretching as it helps you perform better, and achieve a better position, posture and form during any exercise. You will get much more from your workout if your body is flexible, and working on this is just as important as the exercise itself. If you reach or bend further, jump higher, squat lower all of which will help you maximise your workout, making your time during exercise more efficient.
Dynamic stretching as mentioned above helps prepare your body for exercise. This physiological and psychological preparation to exercise can go a long way in preventing injure. Because you should never stretch a ‘cold’ muscle, dynamic stretches would be advised prior to any form of exercise regardless of its intensity. If your body is warm, supply and psychologically ready to perform then carrying out exercises will be a lot safer. Being in the right mind set to workout is just as important, stretching allows your body time to become accustomed to what is about to take place, your concentration levels are higher and you are able to focus of performing the exercise correctly and efficiently. Failing to stretch before any exercise or activity can lead to a misplaced movement or motion which increases your chances of injury.
A daily routine of stretching, prior to exercise or stretching in its own right can help reduce stress and tension from a psychological point of view as well as a physical one. Relieving tight muscles, reducing aches and pains and overall feeling more relaxed can help contribute to a more mindful daily existence. Relaxing into stretches, along with breathing techniques are a great way to build up a resilience to stress and anxiety. Stretching can help promote blood circulation and endorphins around the body lending itself to you feel fitter, healthier and more mobile.
Fresh Start boot camp in Chiang Mai offers a number of opportunities to learn more about types of tailored exercise regimes, including the importance of stretching. We aim to include a number of fundamental pointers that help you reach your maximum potential.