As we continue to age, did you know that stretching could provide incredible benefits beyond just more mobility and better feeling joints? In this article, we will go over the benefits of stretching, as well as a few stretches for you to add to your daily routine.
The #1 Rule Of Stretching
When it comes to stretching, there are three main types. Static Stretching, Dynamic Stretching, and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. For the purpose of this rule, we will discuss only Static and Dynamic.
Static stretching is when you hold a certain position or stretch for a certain amount of time. Dynamic stretching is when you actively move your body (such as leg swings or arm circles) in a joint’s normal plane of motion. Now that you know the difference between static and dynamic stretching, lets cover the #1 rule of stretching.
Static stretching should never be used as a warmup for exercise.
Studies have shown that static stretching before exercise could possibly even INCREASE your chance of injury. Static stretching should be saved for post exercise or even before bed. If you feel you need to increase mobility before exercise, you should elect to utilize dynamic stretching to warm up the body and not over extend your musculature or joint integrity.
Health Benefits of Stretching
The most obvious benefit of stretching is increased flexibility/mobility. We live in a sitting pandemic in this day-in-age. Sedentary lifestyles from sitting, coupled with not using our joints in their full natural range of motion can be directly related to joint/back pain or discomfort.
Over time, the more you stretch, the easier stretching will become. As you continue to try and push your body further, you will gain more flexibility and have a better range of motion. With better mobility, you may even find a more enjoyable and pain-free life!
- Posture/Joint Soreness
What if we told you that stretching has been shown in studies to actually improve posture. Why is this important? Bad posture has been tied to issues that directly affect your lifestyle such as back/joint pain, poor blood circulation, impaired lung function, poor digestion, constricted nerves, and even headaches!
- Injury Prevention
The more you prepare your body for exercise, the likelihood that you will endure an injury decreases. Prevention of injury by adding stretching to your routine is easy and does not need to be directly during your workout sessions to enjoy it’s benefits.
Going back to our #1 rule of stretching, do NOT use static stretching as a warmup or directly before your workouts. Utilizing dynamic stretching is best before exercise. After exercise, before bed, or when you first wake up in the mornings are the best times to add static stretching to your routine. Static stretching can still greatly help you decrease the chance of injury as it can be used to increase your range of motion over time.
- Increased Nutrients
The evidence is in! Stretching has been shown to better your blood circulation around the body. This means a better, more reliable nutrient supply to muscles. This could mean better recovery after workouts and a better functioning body all around.
- Benefits the Mind
If we were to ask you, ‘Would you like it if you could have a more calm mind, release muscular tension, and have more energy?’ almost everybody would respond with ‘Where do I sign up?!’ Stretching has been shown to do exactly this. It has been suggested that stretching even be used as an effective way to manage stress.
Try These Stretches
Below are 5 static and 5 dynamic stretches for you to try out. Each stretch will be hyperlinked to a video on how to do the stretch properly.
Static Stretches -
- Standing Quadricep Stretch
- Standing Calf Stretch
- Seated Hamstring Stretch
- Cross-Arm Shoulder Stretch
- Overhead Tricep Stretch
Dynamic Stretches -
Supplements For Recovery
Whether you are new to exercising or a regular, trying to push your body every day, supplementation could be essential to aiding your body in recovery. Stretching, when added to a great nutrition/supplementation program, can be highly effective in helping your body bounce back and ready to perform again.
Glutamine has been shown to increase energy. As a non-essential amino acid, Glutamine may help recover from exercise faster and even increase performance during exercise.
Bone & Mineral Complete
Bevko Bone & Mineral Complete has vitamins and minerals that aid in heart function. These ingredients can reduce vascular resistance and aid in heart performance and recovery. Other ingredients can aid in bone health and building stronger, more dense bone in the body.
Bevko NutriPlus Protein
Yes, whey protein has been shown to deliver all the amino acids necessary to help in recovery after exercise, but NutriPlus Protein takes whey protein to a whole new level. NutriPlus has a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. These added vitamins and minerals not only help bodily function, but can also act to detoxify the body.
Omega-3, better known as fish oil, has a great number of benefits for the body. When it comes to recovery, Omega-3 has been shown to help reduce health risks from high blood pressure. Omega-3 can also reduce inflammation and pain in the body.