Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Dynamic Lifestyle | Summer warm down: Top five benefits of stretching and rest

Published:Monday | August 15, 2016 | 8:00 AM
The Dynamic Lifestyle team
A regular stretching programme can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.
It's so important that we maintain our body. After all, it's the only place where we live.
Not stretching properly increases the risk of injury.
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Summer's almost done! Can you believe it?

It's certainly been a great one - from our boot camps to the #MyDynamicLifestyle challenge! I even hosted an unforgettable birthday throw-down - so yes, it's been a summer of great fun, great tips, and amazing workouts.

Quick question. In the middle of all that training, vacation, and family time, how many of us actually stretched?

A regular stretching programme can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.

It's so important that we maintain our body. After all, it's the only place where we live. Think about it. It makes no sense to have a great diet, great outfits, and great workouts, etc, and not improve the ease with which we move. When we don't stretch, we limit the results we hope to get from training. Lack of stretching may even damage muscles, joints, and tendons. So it's recommended that we stretch before, during, and even after workouts.

That being said, today's article will look at the top five benefits of including stretching and rest into your #DynamicLifestyle. Here goes:

 

1. Better Posture and Coordination

 

One of the first benefits of stretching is that it improves your posture and coordination. I know that many of us work around desks, so we're sitting for a good portion of the day.

In fact, I can safely say that we have more persons working in offices now more than ever, but what about that posture? If we sit on a chair for at least five hours during the day with an incorrect posture, we push our bodies to adapt to the less than ideal posture. This may also affect the curve and the spine, leading to spine and lower-back pain.

 

2. Prevents Injury

 

As we age, our muscles tighten and we may tend to lose the range of motion we had to complete basic movements in our joints.

Have you ever noticed that if you miss a few workouts you may either experience restrictions in your movements or find yourself overexerting?

This is usually attributed to lack of stretching or 'cold muscles'. Unfortunately, this may lead to injuries.

To prevent this, we need to include about five to 10 minutes of stretching into our warm-up routine before we resume any form of physical activity.

 

3. Better Exercise Performance

 

What winners know is that there is a reason why athletes stretch so much - the secret lies in the power of rest and recovery. When we sleep, stretch, and allow our bodies to recover, we give our bodies what they need to perform better during training. Sleep should also be prioritised.

 

4. Stress Reduction

 

The final benefit of stretching is that it allows for lower stress levels during and after the workout period.

Stretching should be part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. I encourage you to seek to stretch more and allow your muscles the freedom of benefiting from this activity.

Thanks again to all those who joined the August cycle of MyDynamicLifestyle challenge. I'll give a full update next time and give you the details of our September challenge.

Yours, in fitness.

- Patrice J. White is a certified fitness, lifestyle, and transformation, coach and founder and president of the Sonic Steppers Running Club. Email: info@patricejwhite.com. Instagram/Twitter @patricejwhite. Give her a call at 876-GETTFIT (876-438-8348).