Staying Loose – The Importance of Stretching

Most people think of stretching as a way to prevent muscle tears or joint damage while engaging in physical activity, but there is much more to stretching than just muscles and joints. A good stretching routine can help manage lower back pain, improve your circulation and even help you to feel better about yourself. If you want to add a powerful element to your life that is also simple to do, then start stretching.

Stretching for Physical Health and to Prevent InjuryThe single most important element of stretching is to not attempt to do it without first talking to a sports physical therapy expert. While stretching may look simple, you could easily injure yourself if you do it wrong. There is also the risk that you do not do the right type of stretching for your activity, and that could result in an injury as well. Regular appointments with a Gilbert physical therapy expert can help you to stay updated on the right kind of stretching for your needs.

Any type of stretching needs to start out slow and with minimal exercises. When you stretch, you are preparing your body for vigorous physical activity. But it is important to remember that starting out with aggressive stretching can be just as dangerous as not stretching at all. A professional physical therapist can show you how to do warm-up stretching that will get your body properly prepared for the physical activity ahead.

One of the biggest misconceptions about stretching is that it is something you only do just prior to physical activity to prevent injury. The truth is that you should do some form of stretching every day to stay loose for future activity, and you should also develop routines that will be done during and after your exercise routine or sports event. Stretching is something that should be ongoing in your life because of all of the benefits it offers outside of injury prevention.

Constant stretching will prevent painful cramps in your legs and torso that can sneak up on you unexpectedly. When you constantly stretch, you improve your range of motion and reduce the possibly of injuring yourself by making a sudden movement during your day. For example, you could pull a muscle if you suddenly reach down to catch a pen that you dropped from your desk. But if you stretch regularly, the chances that you will injure yourself drop dramatically.

The right kind of stretching can help you to manage back and joint pain, and it can also be used to subside sudden attacks of pain from previous injuries. Stretching will help to improve your sense of balance, enhance your coordination and even help to improve your posture. Good stretching keeps the muscles and ligaments in your body elastic and ready to respond to whatever it is you need to do. You are more agile when you stretch, and you will feel more energized thanks to your improved circulatory system.

The amount of time you spend stretching depends on several factors. People who are older may spend a little more time warming up to avoid injuries while stretching, and people with lingering injuries may also find themselves stretching for a little longer. Any athlete who regularly engages in training and sporting events will spend a little more time stretching each day, but that stretching goes a long way towards preventing crippling injuries.

Your physical health goals will also affect how much time you spend each day stretching. If you are just looking to stay loose and feel better, then you can have a professional physical therapist put together a routine you can do on your own each day with the weekly appointment with the therapist. Athletes with more aggressive goals should consider a few visits to their physical therapy professional each week with strong stretching routines that are updated to reflect changes in the athlete’s needs.

Stretching is something that can be done for just a few minutes a day, but could change your entire life. With help from a certified physical therapist, you can get the right stretching routine to keep your body prepared for any level of physical activity.