Massage Therapy St Albert | Stretch For A Healthy Body
Out of all the things we do for our body, eating a balanced diet, drinking water, exercising and more, we often don’t give our muscles and joints the love they need. Lianna Bergonia, owner of massage therapy St Albert clinic, Healing Point Massage Therapy says stretching is often forgotten or overlooked. In fact, many of her clients in her practice are experiencing pain, stiffness, or sore spots that could have been avoided simply by stretching.
While many people understand that stretching is important before and after exercise, many people do their stretches after a run, or at the gym. But is that enough? Lianna says for some people, it can be, especially those who work out 4 to 5 days a week, and incorporate 15 minutes of stretching or more into their workout. But if you routinely skip your post workout stretch, are you missing out?
Small Stretches Make A Big Difference
Massage therapy St Albert clinic owner says that if you’re not stretching a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes at a time, 3 to 5 days a week, it may not be enough. The reason why, says Lianna is because you’re not conditioning your muscles if you stretch too seldomly. In the short term, stretching increases blood flow, and gets rid of stiffness, which is definitely important. But in the long run, stretching increases muscle elasticity, improves your range of motion, and helps your body recover from strenuous activity.
If you’re only stretching once a week, or only a few times a month, you could actually be putting your body at risk of damage, from stretching your muscles when they are not ready to be stretched. This can lead to injuries and torn or pulled muscles. It should be fairly easy to increase the amount of time you’re stretching. Start by adding five minutes of stretching before bed on the weekends, and work your way up from there, says massage therapy St Albert clinic owner, Lianna Bergonia. Once you have the initial habit developed, you can add stretching minutes or frequency.
Massage Therapy St Albert | Stretch Throughout the Day
There are great ways to incorporate stretching into your day as well, advises Bergonia. At her massage therapy St Albert clinic, she often helps her clients incorporate stretching into their day, so that it doesn’t feel like one more additional chore in their already busy day. For example, people can do a minute or two of arm stretches while in the shower. Letting their conditioner sit, or while they’re towelling off.
At work, when you take your 15 minute break, or lunch break, do some stretches. Lunges, torso stretches, trunk rotation, forward bend, hip and knee flexion stretches, hamstring stretch, just to name a few. Encourages Lianna of massage therapy St Albert clinic, Healing Point Massage Therapy. Not only will you prevent the stiffness from setting in, you’re also getting your stretching in, and your body will ultimately benefit.
Best way to incorporate stretching throughout the day
Other ways to incorporate stretching into your day can be as simple as doing some deep lunges, or hamstring stretches while brushing your teeth. If you have half an hour to watch some television, do some neck or shoulder stretches while you’re at it. Are you waiting for a meeting to start? Stuck at the copier machine? Catching the bus? All of these are perfect opportunities to hold a stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Before you know it, you’ve stretched for a cumulative 5 to 10 minutes a day, all without having to add another “chore” to your already long to do list.
Stretching Do’s And Don’ts
- Do a light warm up first. (no, stretching is not a warm up!) light walking, jogging or biking for 5 minutes can warm your muscles up enough to get more out of your stretching routine.
- Stretch both sides evenly. Whether it’s your arms, legs, glutes, core, you will want to ensure you are stretching both sides of your body similarly. Favoring one side over the other can lead to injuries.
- Strive for smooth, fluid stretches. Don’t jerk or bounce your stretches, it can cause pain or injury. You may, however incorporate gentle movement into your stretches, like tai chi or yoga.
- Hold your stretches! Aim for 30 seconds to start, or 60 seconds for stiffer muscles.
- Avoid feeling pain! You should feel tension, but not pain. If at any point your stretches feel painful, back off until you no longer feel pain, and hold from there.
- Keep it up! Don’t just stretch once in a while. That will not help you increase flexibility or prevent pain or injury. Even a 5-to-10-minute stretching routine 2 or 3 times a week is beneficial. Start small, and as you develop your habit, increase your time or frequency.
- Don’t stretch if you are injured! When in doubt, ask your doctor, or consult with your RMT at your massage therapy St Albert clinic.
If you have any questions about stretching, such as the best stretches for a beginner. Or what the best stretches are for your specific body, contact the experts at massage therapy St Albert clinic, Healing Point Massage Therapy. They would be more than happy to help, and to give you a massage to help you on your journey to full body health.