Greg Lee worked as a senior manager in a private bank. He was only 48, but had trouble climbing stairs of his three story landed property home in Singapore. When he discussed this with his family doctor, the doctor advised him to go for a morning walks and to exercise regularly. Mr. Lee joined a nearby gym for regular fitness, but due to excess work pressure and an irregular schedule he failed to continue. The fitness adviser of the gym advised him to do some stretching exercises at home that requires only 10-15 minutes. Mr Lee continued his stretching routine of just 15 minutes for 2 months continuously and started to feel the difference. His muscles were more flexible and the pain in his leg joints and hips had reduced.
The right way to stretch can not only make your body fit, it can help to relax your muscles. A wrong stretch can hurt your muscles and cause trouble later on. According to experts if you stretch the right way your body will benefit from proper posture and increased flexibility. Here are a few stretching tips:
- Always warm up your body before stretching. You can choose from sit up and sit down warm up exercises or jogging or simply walking. Warm up before stretching make muscles flexible, improves blood circulation, and prepares the body for stretching. 5 to7 minutes of warm up is sufficient.
- In any stretching exercise, try to be in the posture for 15- 20 seconds and then return to the normal posture. Wait for 30 seconds and then again stretch. Complete the same stretch at least five times.
- Always stretch from both sides of the body and put equal effort. Initially people who are right handed have a tendency to stretch the right hand side of the body more than the other side and vice versa. This is due to the increased use of that side of the body in regular day-to-day tasks. So avoid this situation and put conscious equal effort on both side. After regular stretching both sides of your body will develop equal flexibility.
- Never overstretch your body. In the starting period you may feel difficulty or may not be able to stretch a particular body part. Do not worry; regular practice will make stretching easier. Forceful stretching can hurt ligaments and can cause pain. The test for right stretching is that you feel stretch without any pain or discomfort.
- Whenever you are stretching, keep the body parts stable so that they get the full benefit of the exercise.
- The best time for stretching exercise is early morning. As per experts recommendations, stretching for 10 minutes in the early morning is good for your health. Never stretch beyond 10-12 minutes.
- Breathe normally while you are stretching. Do not try to control breathing your. Instead observe the right body movement.
- Try to keep your mind and soul calm. Do not think unnecessary things.