Here are some common questions about stretching and flexibility!
Why do we need to stretch?
Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities and decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. It also enables your muscles to work most effectively, and increases blood flow to the muscle.
If you are physically inactive, it is especially important that you have some kind of stretching routine. When we do not exercise our muscles tend to shorten and tighten. This can lead to decreased flexibility, poor posture, muscle tension and pain throughout the muscles in the body.
How often should I stretch?
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching each of the major muscle groups at least two times per week for a minimum of 30 seconds per stretching exercise.
When do I stretch?
If you are physically active it is encouraged that you complete your stretching exercises once your muscles are warmed up. In this case, it is good practise to stretch after your warm up, or after you've completed your workout or any other form of physical activity.
How do I stretch?
For the most part, static stretching should be performed after activity or exercise. Static stretching is conducted when the body is at rest. The purpose of this style of stretching is to lengthen the muscle by holding a certain pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes in duration. Its important to breathe while stretching, not doing so can cause muscle tightness and tension which will prevent the muscle from lengthening.
If you are unsure about how to include flexibility in your exercise routine, our Gentle Yoga class serves as a great way to get introduced to the various forms of stretching. Gentle Yoga is designed for beginners and it is set up in an "easy to follow along" format to set you up for success.
Check it out!