Stretching exercises encourage lengthening of your muscles and their associated tendons. They counteract the shortening and tightening of muscles that can occur immediately after vigorous exercise and as a product of ageing and inactivity. A sedentary lifestyle that involves long periods of sitting or driving can cause your muscles to shorten and tighten. This reduces your range of motion and can lead to stiffness and pain. This is the main problem with the process of aging and BodyWise people know it.
By its effect of lengthening muscles, stretching promotes flexibility, that is, the ability to have a full range of motion about your joints. This reflects in younger movement and much less discomfort.
Exercises for flexibility should be included as an integral part of a balanced exercise program that also includes:
- exercise to increase or maintain muscular strength (e.g. a strength training routine using hand weights);
- exercise to increase or maintain aerobic capacity (e.g. a brisk walking, cycling, running, swimming);
- a healthy diet; and
- plenty of rest.
Not taking time to stretch can mean losing the ability to move freely and fully to complete in your chose sport or can restrict your capacity to easily perform the activities that are basic to your daily needs.
Physiotherapists at BodyWise can demonstrate and plan an exercise program specific to your needs, so that you can reduce pain on movement and enjoy life at its best.