Stretching scores over all forms of exercise when your goal is flexibility. As age advances, the range of movement of the various joints of the body tends to decrease. This starts when you are in your twenties, but may go unnoticed for several decades as it proceeds slowly. Often you notice it only in late middle age.
It is important to keep the tissues around the joints pliable to ensure the full range of movement. This also slows down the onset of degenerative disorders such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
Fitness and flexibility are not the same thing. Sports persons can be very fit when it comes to a particular group of muscles, but they may lack flexibility in the remaining body areas. For example, a cyclist may have strong and well-developed calf muscles, but his shoulder joints may not be in that good a shape. It is important to try to achieve all-around flexibility, even if you participate in a specific sport.
When you stretch, you should try to continue the stretch until you can feel a slight tension in the muscles. Hold the stretch at that point, for at least 6 seconds. You should try to hold each stretch for longer as you progress.
It is important to enjoy the stretches. While stretching, imagine the blood flowing into your limbs. Thinking peaceful thoughts prevents tension of muscles and joints and thus promotes stretching.
A word of caution!!!
Do not stretch when you are feeling cold. Make sure that you are warm enough; wear an extra garment if required. Avoid doing stretches first thing in the morning. Developmental stretches are best done when the joints are loose and flexible as in the afternoons or evenings.
Just be careful when you do your stretches and choose the right time and right techniques to get the best results out of the efforts you put in.
By : Natural Health News