One of the areas often forgotten by people who regularly exercise is stretching. If they do stretch, most would simply breeze through the process. But why is stretching important and why should you set aside a significant amount of time for this?
Stretching offers multiple benefits to the body and mind. Apart from increasing your body’s range of motion, it can also aid in maintaining proper posture. If you work out consistently, stretching can aid in recovery by improving blood circulation and the distribution of vital nutrients.
Stretching also benefits the mind. A short session can help calm one’s mind. After a workout, it can help you transition from an intense session to a calmer mindset.
Stretching can be classified into two: dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching is performed prior to the main workout or before a sport activity, usually after performing warm-up exercises. This prepares the body for the demands of the activity. Static stretching, on the other hand, is performed after the workout in order to help the body return to its normal state and solidify the gains from the workout.
However, stretching is not only for active individuals. Workers and people suffering from various musculoskeletal disorders or recovering from surgery or an illness can benefit from custom stretching programs. A tailored program can offer the benefits of increased strength and mobility, reduced tension and pain and even accelerated healing.Regular stretching may also be considered as a form of preventative care, helping a person maintain flexibility while keeping injuries at bay.In the workplace, regular stretching can also help employees overcome the adverse effects of poor posture, repetitive motions and poor body mechanics. By minimizing the effects of these, workers and organizations can reap the benefits of increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.
But why opt for a tailored stretching program? Despite the benefits of stretching, when performed incorrectly, it can lead to adverse side effects. In order to maximize these benefits, it is important to seek the aid of a physical therapist in designing a suitable program which accounts for the patient’s goals as well as his particular conditions and limitations.
As a therapeutic aid, stretching is typically used in conjunction with exercises. Some stretches are performed at the physical therapist’s office. However, it is imperative for the patient to perform aspects of the program at home or even at the workplace in order to solidify the benefits. The duration of the treatment will vary from one person to another depending on the needs and circumstances of the patient.