|Photo from yoga.com|
If there is one thing I truly believe in, more than cardio, more than weights and more than any other exercise on the planet, it is the power and importance of STRETCHING. Every single trainer and instructor I've ever worked out with has stressed that if there is one thing I should be doing for my body every single day, it's to stretch it for at least thirty minutes. Though I am not so strict about the thirty minute time frame, I DO make sure I get even just my basic stretches in for the day with some easy yoga poses like the cat/cow stretch and upward/downward facing dog poses.
Why is stretching so important, you might be asking right now. Well, here are a few benefits of a daily stretch:
- Helps improve flexibility, which in turn gives you a wider range when you move your body while working out.
- Helps correct your posture.
- Helps with blood flow to the muscles.
- Helps calm the mind and body.
- Releases tension.
What to remember when Stretching:
- Do a short warm up prior to stretching because stretching cold muscles might actually be more harmful than helpful.
- Stretch slowly and carefully and hold for about 30-45 seconds to loosen tight muscles.
- Breathe properly while stretching and don't micro-bounce as they can cause small tears in your muscles.
- Make sure your stretches don't hurt, but each time, try to go a little deeper than last.