One part of exercise that is not my expertise is stretching. I do not do it enough. I’m big enough of a woman and personal trainer to admit this. I do urge my clients to do this, especially when they come in talking about lower back pain and other various aches. Stretching is important to keeping the body limber because whether you’re sitting, standing, or a mixture of both all day, odds are, your body is feeling some kind of pain. This appears only to worsen as you age.
When to Stretch?
At the end of your workout! The best way to warm-up the body to prepare for an exercise routine is to start moving. I’ll dive further into this in another post, but take 5-10 minutes at the beginning to jump on the treadmill, a bike, or loosen up with some jumping jacks or squats. Get that body moving through a dynamic- movement- stretching period.
Once you’ve made your way through your cardio and/or your strength training, take another 5-15 minutes and stretch. The body will be nice and warmed up and ready to relax after all it just endured.
Stretching helps alleviate all those aches and pains. The body, as does the mind, tackles a multitude of obstacles during the day that leads to soreness and strain, especially if you add a workout on top of it. The muscle is tight and needs to unclench. Another excellent way to do this is by foam rolling, which I can get into further at another time.
Stretching also helps the body get better. The way strength training works is the effort breaks down the muscle and rest helps it repair, allowing the muscles to strengthen. It helps the blood to flow better and prevents injuries.
My Favorite Stretches
As you can see, I was able to complete these stretches in the comfort of my own home, crazy cat and dog included!