STRETCH Your LIMITS
By Fitness Together Trainer, Jenn Noggle
Do you have trouble squatting down to pick something up off the floor? Is it difficult to reach that scratch in the middle of your back or bend over to touch your toes? Do you experience lower back pain or stiffness? Like many others, actions that used to seem so simple and basic can now be challenging and frustrating. The good news is that more often than not, the solution is simple. Incorporating a consistent stretching routine into your life, whether you exercise or not, is a critical component of your overall wellness. There is more good news…even a small time commitment can yield huge results! Here are just a few:
Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion
Range of motion (ROM) is the area through which a joint should normally be freely and painlessly moved. A limited ROM means that there is a reduction in a joint’s normal, full range of motion. As you age, and especially if you sit a lot, your muscles will become tighter and shorter over time. This makes you more susceptible to injuries, nagging aches and pains, and compromised daily function. Regular stretching will increase and maintain the proper, full range of motion in your joints. This means better flexibility and balance, decreased pain and tightness, decreased muscular imbalance, and easier overall movement and function.
Increased Circulation and Energy Levels
Stretching has been proven to increase blood and oxygen flow to your muscles, thus increasing the supply of nutrients to your muscles as well. This means reduced muscle soreness and tension, increased comfort and ease of day-to-day activities, increased energy levels, and shortened recovery time.
Better Posture and Reduced Back Pain
Numerous muscles, including the hip flexors, lower back muscles, hamstrings and quadriceps, contribute to your posture. Poor posture means tension, breathing difficulty, fatigue, and back pain. Regularly stretching can improve posture and therefore, greatly reduce or eliminate the back pain that affects millions of Americans today.Aren’t these benefits worth at least 15 minutes each day? Don’t continue to limit your activity or blame your age for what you can no longer do. Start rejuvenating your body today! Whether it is after your workout, or while you watch your favorite tv program, make the time to improve your body and your life today! A Fitness Together trainer can put together a personalized stretching routine for you to do on your own, or you can try out a Passive Stretching session to help maximize your flexibility and function.
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