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Feeling Stiff? Understanding the Importance of Stretching

by | Sep 29, 2021 | Health Tips

Remember back in 2010 when everyone was saying, “There’s an app for that?” The catchphrase from the iPhone commercial became so popular that Apple actually trademarked the expression.

If you often complain about your aches and pains, you might hear someone say, “There’s a stretch for that.” And you know it’s true. From your gym teacher to your massage therapist to your great-uncle Herbert, it seems like everybody is telling you to stretch more.

What do you think? Is the importance of stretching overrated? Or are there good reasons to make a few minutes each day to stretch?

We’ll dive into this topic below, so keep reading to learn more!

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

Most Americans now sit over eight hours a day, and only 4% of the population sits for less than four hours a day. While you might associate stretching with physical activity, it’s also the perfect way to undo the damage caused by our sedentary lifestyles.

Consider just a few ways that stretching can help you feel your best:

  • Alleviate aches and pains
  • Improve your flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduce your chance of injury
  • Improve your posture
  • Naturally reduce physical and mental stress
  • Promote blood flow and circulation
  • Boost your physical performance at work or while playing sports

Whether you have a physically demanding job or you sit at a desk all day, stretching offers an impressive array of benefits. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, 10-15 minutes a day of stretching can do wonders for your health.

What’s the Right Way to Stretch?

Improper stretching can do more harm than good, so you need to make sure you understand the basics before you add stretching to your daily routine.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Never stretch “cold” muscles; always do a bit of warm-up first
  • Don’t bounce; instead, move slowly and hold your stretch
  • Stretch to the point of slight tension, not pain
  • Finish each workout with a cool-down and stretching session

Focus on stretching your major muscle groups and strive for symmetry when you stretch. It’s normal to have one hip or one shoulder that feels “tighter” than the other, but stretching can help to bring your body into balance.

If you need some help with stretching or figuring out which stretches are best for your body, talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or massage therapist. Keep in mind that many types of massage also feature active and passive stretching techniques to loosen your muscles and joints.

The Importance of Stretching: Make Time for It

You don’t have to become a contortionist to understand the importance of stretching. Just a few minutes a day can make a world of difference in your flexibility and physical comfort. It will also improve your athletic performance while reducing your chance of injuries.

Of course, stretching isn’t the only way to take care of your body. You also need to consider other aspects of self-care, such as scheduling regular massages.

Whether you need a relaxing massage, a deep tissue massage, or more advice on stretching, we’re here to help you feel your best. Click here to book your next Vail massage or give us a call at 970-445-2114 to learn more about our boutique day spa.