I am certain you will have heard the phrase, no pain, no gain? This phrase is unfortunately instantly linked to exercise. It is difficult for us to get ourselves motivated to go to the gym and abuse our bodies in order to improve our fitness and get stronger. We shouldn’t be working out to an extent where we are causing damage to our bodies, but pushing your body past your comfort levels should be your main focus in the gym, this is how we improve mentally and physically. But there is a method where you can get fitter and in shape without exhausting yourself on the treadmill.
There are exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home without too much effort, but with big rewards. One of the exercises is “stretching”, which is an exercise you should do on a regular basis. You can achieve and maintain a good level of fitness with stretching exercises. Stretching helps you to lengthen and strengthen your muscles and can make your life much easier in the gym when it comes to recovery. Gymnasts are proof of the benefits you achieve from stretching, their physique is formed on the basis of stretching for a large percentage of their exercise. Stretching also helps promote deep breathing which also helps you become physically fit.
Stretching takes a small amount of your time and can help you achieve amazing results with your workouts. There are many benefits that you get from regular stretching:
- Increased blood circulation to the different parts of the body
- Boosted energy levels
- Less muscle tension
- Increased flexibility and movement in the joints
- Improved muscular synchronization
The most effective form of stretching is an isometric stretch. To carry out this stretch correctly, you will slowly and gently pull your body into the stretch position and hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. After this time, you will press against your body to provide resistance in the opposite direction of the stretch for 5 seconds. Then relax your body for a second and then continue again with your stretch for 15-20 seconds more. This will give you a lot more range of motion.
Although this is the most beneficial form of stretching that you can do, make sure that you don’t over do it. You can stretch every day, sometimes several times in a day but make sure that you do not use the isometrics more than three times a week.
Almost everyone of all ages and flexibility can learn how to stretch and should be part of your daily routine, meaning that we should stretch even when we don’t exercise. There are simple stretches that can be done whilst getting on with your normal daily routine. You could even stretch while sitting in front of the TV.