We all lead busy lives, and fitting in a quick workout can seem like a mammoth task, let alone adding in post workout stretching… who even has time to stretch? It is pretty pointless, right?
Wrong! Stretching is actually one of the most important parts of your work out and can benefit you both in body and mind.
Think of your body as a tightly wound elastic band, if you don’t loosen it a little, when you apply more pressure it will eventually snap. Stretching gives your muscles a chance to loosen up and can prevent injuries from occurring, plus it feels great!
- Remember when you were 10 and you could touch your toes? Well stretching will increase your range of motion and flexibility – which always helps when it comes to summer and you need to paint, you need a DIY pedicure.
- We often spend hours a day sitting at computers and ruining that great posture your nan always used to teach you was so important. Stretching helps to correct your hunched posture by loosening your chest muscles.
- Reduce muscle aches and soreness from working out by increasing the blood flow to your tired muscles.
Time spent stretching is time for you to relax, unwind and just be. Even just 10 minutes can give you a feeling of calm and wellbeing, setting you up to take on the rest of the day.
For a real treat, spend an hour in a yoga or pilates class, stretching out and winding down.
One of my favourite stretches is the ‘Modified Cobra’ which give a great stretch though your core:
- Lie facedown on the floor with thumbs directly under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor.
- Tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes.
- Press shoulders down and away from ears.
- Push through your thumbs and index fingers as you raise your chest toward the wall in front of you.
- Relax in to the stretch and feel the benefit.
- Hold for a few seconds and then repeat and don’t forget to breathe deep.
Comment below with some of your favourite stretches.