A Cat, stretching

Why stretching is important for health

“I don’t need to stretch, I’m not doing exercise.”

Even if you are not planning on performing aerobic activity, it’s really good for our bodies to stretch every day.

Stretching helps to keep our muscles flexible, strong and healthy.

When our muscles are flexible, we have a better range of motion in our joints.

When we don’t stretch, our muscles can shorten and become tight. Then, when we call on our muscles to work, they are more less able to help, putting us at risk for joint pain and muscle damage.

Healthy, flexible muscles aren’t just important for the times where we do take part in more strenuous activity. They are also crucial in helping us keep our balance and avoid falls. In addition, they help to maintain better posture and reduce body aches.

How to stretch every day

pregnant lady in a standing stretch, one leg folded up and hands in prayer positionDon’t try to stretch every muscle, every day. You have a lot of muscles (650 of them in fact!) But there are core muscle groups that can benefit everyone by being stretched regularly:

  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip flexors in your pelvis
  • Quadriceps (thigh)
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Lower Back

Whether you sit at a desk all day, or you’re pregnant, or you’re young at heart, stretching is a great thing to do each day. But, ideally, you should work with a therapist who can assess your current physical strength and tailor a stretching programme which will suit you and your needs. One of our osteopaths or sports therapists would be happy to work with you.

If you have specific health conditions, please seek advice from your doctor before you start.

When you do start, hold each stretch for 30 seconds and avoid ‘bouncing’.

You shouldn’t feel any pain when you stretch. If you do, stop that stretch and seek advice from a medical professional.

Carla

About Carla