When it comes to staying strong, lean and fit as we age there is definitely more than one piece to the puzzle. And it’s totally natural for our muscles to feel tighter, our joints achier and losing weight to become harder too. It can feel very discouraging I know!
So what can we do about it?
Staying strong not only means lifting weights and doing resistance training, but working on our flexibility, eating right, and giving yourself recovery time too.
As we age our bodies naturally become less flexible and more prone to injury. With flexibility training, however, we can keep our bodies more limber and youthful. So if staying strong, lean and fit as you age is of importance to you , why not start with stretching today!
Here are the top 10 reasons to stretch:
- Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Stretching helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints and increase their longevity.
- May reduce your risk of injury. A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured from a slightly extensive movement. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you may decrease the resistance on your muscles during various activities, especially when subjected to something new.
- Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching the muscles that have been shortening/ contracting over an extended period of time will keep them loose and lessen a shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
- Improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your back in better alignment and improve your posture, helping you stand taller.
- Helps reduce or manage stress. Well stretched muscles hold less tension and therefore, leave you feeling less stressed. Plus the routine of focusing on ones breath while relaxing during a stretch can be considered meditation of sort.
- Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation. Stretching allows the muscles to relax. Habitually tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients.
- Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Since a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.
- Prepares the body for the stress of exercise. Stretching prior to exercise allows the muscles to loosen up and become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo.
- Promotes circulation. Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles and joints which allow for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through the entire body.
- Decreases the risk of low-back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.
Here’s a 15 minute Full Body Stretch that will teach you proper technique and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Enjoy 🙂
Ps. If you want to ease your joint pain and decrease inflammation try my 7 day gluten dairy free meal plan. It’s designed to reduce your sugar intake, without leaving you hungry or feeling deprived. Commit to stretching and the meal plan for a week and you will be amazed at the difference this will make!
Click the link below for your FREE meal plan and guide to reset your body:)