Good health is not a destination that you can arrive at — it is a journey that you must continue making throughout the course of your entire life. There are no shortcuts, easy fixes, or miracle diets that will make you healthy from one day to the next. Rather, you must make small yet intelligent choices every single day that will help nourish, strengthen, and protect your body.
Of course, if you are going through the trouble of reading a health blog such as this one, then there is a pretty good chance that we are preaching to the choir when we tell you all of this. Nonetheless, even the most dedicated of us could still use occasional reminders and bits of inspiration.
One important aspect of a healthy lifestyle that is frequently overlooked by novices and dedicated health-nuts alike is stretching. At best, many of us think of stretching as an annoying prelude to an actual workout — and at worst, many people ignore the importance of stretching altogether.
The truth is, however, that stretching is not just a warmup. In fact, there is substantial evidence that stretching may not be an ideal warm up at all! Because stretching causes muscle breakdown in a similar fashion as weight lifting, running, or other forms of strenuous exercise, many professional athletes and knowledgeable health enthusiasts now save their stretching routine for after the heart of their workout, acknowledging that stretching actually makes a better cool-down than warmup.
At any rate, it is worth pointing out that stretching should never be rushed, regardless of when you are performing your stretching routine. Dynamic stretches should only be performed with great care, and after an initial warm up. Static stretching (the slower, stand-still form of stretching that most of us are familiar with) should be done before more intense stretching or yoga routines in order to minimize the risk of a pulled muscle or strained tendon.
So, with all that being said, let’s go over a few of the easiest and most effective stretching exercises that should be an indispensable part of your health routine.
1. Runner’s Stretch:
Extend your right leg forward in a lunge position. Then, slowly but steadily, extend your palms toward the ground on either side of your right foot. (If you can’t reach the ground yet, don’t worry — just come as close as you comfortably can. Your range of motion will soon improve.) Hold this position for thirty seconds to one minute, and then slowly straighten up. Then, repeat the entire exercise with your left foot forward.
2. Standing Side-Stretch:
Reach your hands above your head, interlocking your fingers with the arms fully extended. Slowly but surely, bend your arms and upper body toward the right as far as you can while remaining comfortable and stable. Hold for thirty seconds to a minute, then slowly straighten up. Repeat leaning toward the left.
3. Seated Back Twist:
Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Lift your right leg into an A shape so that your foot is flat on the floor, and cross your right foot over your left leg. Bend your left elbow in a V shape, and place it on the right side of your right knee. Hold this position for one minute, breathing deeply all the while. Then, release the position slowly, and repeat with your left knee and your right elbow.
Stretching is one important step you can take toward living a healthy, pain-free life. If diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle just aren’t cutting it, however, you may need additional help. Visit LastStop4Pain online today to learn more about how we can help you live your best life using chemical blood analysis, medical massages, and other cutting-edge techniques.