I’ve been exercising a fair bit this last 12 months however, I’ve noticed a fair degree of restlessness and crampy muscles particularly over-night.
So, I started stretching before bed and after exercise and increased my magnesium supplements.
The result, fewer cramps, less pain, greater flexibility, and better sleep.
Hi, this Dr. Andrew Arnold, Chiropractor at Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre.
Today I want to talk about the benefits of stretching.
Improved flexibility and range of motion. This helps your daily routine right down to those basic activities like tying shoelaces, putting on underwear, bringing the shopping in etc.
Enhanced blood and lymphatic circulation by getting nourishment to the muscles and getting rid of waste byproducts like lactic acid. I find my recovery after exercise has improved and I not as sore.
Improved spinal posture: As Chiropractors, we’re all about this. Stretching, particularly the back, helps keep your head in the right position, i.e. not forward minimizing aches and pains.
Stress relief. Stretching releases hormones that help relaxed tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.
Helps coordination by maintaining joint range which helps balance. As we get older balance becomes more and more of an issue. Improved mobility and muscle tone go a long way to helping you stay upright.
How do I stretch properly?
IMPORTANT POINT: Dr. Andrew Arnold says you’ve got to do this properly and slowly otherwise you will hurt yourself.
Warm up. Stretch after exercise not before and avoid over-stretching. Start with normal joint range first.
Hold 30 seconds, avoid bouncing. For most novices holding stretches are the safest. For the more experienced, ballistic or bounce stretches can be helpful, but these are advanced.
Avoid the bounce: As stated, this may cause microtears in the muscle which then may cause scarring. Scarred muscles mean less flexibility and more likelihood of further tearing and that means more pain.
Stretching is supposed to be pain-free. Focus on a pain-free stretch: Know when to back off.
Relax and breathe: I recommend joining a low-level yoga class.
Stretch both sides of your body. Remember, it’s all about balance.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready…
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About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor and ACTP accredited Business Coach.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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