No matter your lifestyle, stretching is extremely important for daily life and for your future health.
While some people are naturally more prone to flexibility and stretching is a treat, some people are naturally more tight and hate stretching. Regardless of your body type, you need to get those limbs moving! Here are a few steps how to get the most out of your stretches:
1.) Do Not Stretch Cold Muscles
Always do a little bit of aerobic movements to get your blood pumping so you can stretch safely and avoid injuries. That being said, you can start by gently stretching first thing in the morning, without even getting out of bed. Stretch your arms overhead, bend one knee towards your chest, then another. Then, you can hold behind your thigh, and stretch your straight legs towards your face. These are gentle enough that they will get your circulation working, help you wake up, and will not cause injuries.
2.) Vary Your Stretches
Before your workouts, it’s better to do dynamic stretches. Do leg swings, jog a little in place, maybe jog and try to kick your butt. Do some sun salutations, if you are familiar with yoga. Save your static stretches (the stretches you hold for several seconds) for after your workout. If you do static stretches before your workout, it can weaken your performance, especially if it’s running or jumping. Everyone is more flexible after working out because their body is warmed up, so it’s a good chance to push your body.
3.) Take Care of Yourself
Healthy muscle and nerve function rely on adequate levels of magnesium! If you’re experiencing muscle cramps during your stretching and exercises, this might be the result of an imbalance of calcium and potassium. Magnesium helps regulate these minerals to keep you pain-free!
Learn More about Magnesium Glycinate Here
4.) Listen to Your Body
You don’t want to feel pain during stretching. You can feel slight pulling, but if it feels painful, you should stop. The goal is to have flexible muscles, not spend time recovering from injuries.
5.) Stretch in the Sun
One of my favorite stretching tips I’ve received was from my ballet teacher: Take advantage of warm weather! Your body is already warm, because of the weather, so this is a good time to become more flexible.
6.) Experiment with Yoga
In general, if you’re looking to naturally add more stretching and flexibility to your life, it’s a good idea to start taking yoga classes. It’s a misconception that that you need to be flexible to do yoga, yoga is what helps you become more flexible.
“A man is as young as his spine is flexible.” -Joseph Pilates