November 24, 2009

Stick to Stretching!

There are so many benefits from stretching! Most of us have been told or taught that it is important to stretch before and after working out, or maybe when recovering from an injury, or even to help a specific area of the body gain more mobility. Although the reasons for stretching may differ, there are a couple of things that you should always keep in mind to make it even more enjoyable. First you want to make sure that you are doing it right. Proper alignment is very important; it will give the intended muscles, tendons & joints a stretch without compromising other parts of the body. If you are unsure of your alignment ask your care provider or trainer for help. Also remember to listen to your body, if a stretch feels wrong, ease out of it using your breath to guide you back to a safe supported position. Breathing properly while stretching has huge benefits as well. Giving your muscles efficient amounts of oxygen will aid in getting a nice full deep stretch. Breathing deeply and slowly will relax your muscles and your mind.
If you are having trouble sticking to a stretching routine there are many ways to start incorporating it into your life. If you are more inclined to stretch in a class setting, try taking a Yin yoga class, being surrounded by like minded people can help to give you something to look forward to. If your schedule doesn’t fit with your neighborhood yoga studios, set aside some time at the end of your day. Even if you start with ten minutes, stretching before heading to bed is a great way to slip into a relaxed state of body and mind and can increase your chances of a great nights sleep.

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