The power of stretches is often underestimated. We remember to work out but we do not stretch after. Even for those who don’t work out, stretches are very important. After a day of going up and down, you really need to release the tension in your muscles. I found 7, just 7 stretches that I love and the best part about these stretches is that you can do them before bed (like I prefer to do) or after work out.
One of the things I love about stretching is that I reduce muscle cramps especially after work out. When I would do an exercise like sit ups and not stretch after, I would not be able to laugh the next day. Yaaah!! This was before I discovered the benefits of stretches.
Stretches for me were a game changer in my fitness life and general mood. After a long day, I feel so much relief after doing stretches. I think they are therapeutic. Another amazing thing is that I tend to have better sleep when I stretch before bed time.
What benefit will stretches offer you? I believe just like for me, stretches will be best thing that happened to you. If you already stretch, congratulations! Let me know in the comments what you love most about stretches.
1. Improves joints
Stretches reduce wear and tear. When you stretch you enhance a joint’s range of motion which is good for you. Think of shoulder rolls, this help reduce tension on the shoulder joints and lubricates the joint.
2. Reduces injuries
Regular stretches increase your stability and balance. When you have good balance, you will avoid some falls that are contributed to by poor balance. You can be tripped and still not fall which can be attributed to having good stability.
Stretches go a long way in reducing the occurrence of sprains, strains and ruptures.
3. Increases muscle flexibility
Stretches help to build strong and healthy muscles. Stretching helps to increase the flexibility hence muscle strains will be rare if any.
4. Helps to reduce stress
The best explanation for this would be for you to try out the 7 stretches and see how it works.
5. Improves blood flow
Blood carries and distributes nutrients throughout the body. With improved blood flow, your muscles are well nourished and recover easily in case of anything.
6. Age in style!
When you start aging, all sorts of pains especially back pains kick in. The good thing is that you can try and prevent it. Tension in our muscles is accumulated over the years. Long hours spent sitting, bad postures etc.
Stretching daily helps release this tension hence you will reduce the tension accumulated over the years and reduces the chances of having back pains.
These are my favorite stretches and how to do them correctly.
1. Child pose
I am not sure whether it is correct to do this stretch on the bed. On my end, I find this a perfect stretch before I enter bed.
Cat Cow Pose
This helps a lot to strengthen your back. Whenever I spend long hours standing or sitting, I find this stretch relieving. It is also perfect for after work out.
3. Cobra Stretch
If I happen to do a work out that focus on the abs like abdominal crunches or leg ups, I have to finish up with this stretch. It works to prevent pain (you know that moment when you cannot laugh because of pain) especially if you have not done that exercise for a long time.
This works on your lower back as well.
5. Lying Twist Stretch Left
6. Lying Twist Stretch Right
Similar to the lying twist stretch left just that this one, your knees are on the right side while you face is looking towards the left.
7. Simple Hamstring Stretch
For all the movement you have done today, your hamstring deserves a stretch.
I guess it is a habit now. There is always a bonus for you on all my lists.
Most of us spend a lot of time on our desks and this creates stiffness around our neck and shoulders. Make it a habit to stretch every few hours and walk around. As you have seen, these are stretches you can do while seated.
Let the stretching begin. Stretches are important and contribute a lot to your health. I find it better to do stretches at the end of the day and after working out.
Tell a friend to tell a friend.
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