I try to squeeze in a heavy weight-lifting workout daily, alternating different muscle groups between the upper and lower body during each gym session. It’s easy to forget to incorporate stretching into your workout when you have limited time, but this year I am challenging myself to make more of an effort to make this a part of my weekly routine. Whether it’s taking a yoga class or pulling up a program on YouTube, stretching is essential for preventing injury, keeping your muscles flexible, extending your range of motion and even increasing the nutrients to your muscles.How many of you sit at a computer all day? Researchers at the Harvard Medical School found that extended sitting is detrimental to your health, so much so that many people have switched to a standing desk to protect their posture by stretching out their body throughout the day. Stretching maintains better alignment for the spine and prevents aches and pains, which lead to a hunched posture. Plus, the tighter you are, the more likely your muscles are to cramp, causing knots throughout your body which can lead to serious pain. Who wants that?! Stretching also enables you to exercise harder so that you maximize the time you’re in the gym. You will develop a greater range of motion that’ll let you target and isolate muscle groups much more during a workout. Even more, stretching relaxes your mind and is a great way to release stress. The toxicity that comes with stress is harmful to everyone’s health, so the more we can lower our stress levels, the better our overall health will be.
I hope you will join me on my goal to stretch more this year and allow yourself to reap the benefits of something you can easily do anytime, anywhere.