It’s almost certain that all of us have experienced the feeling of waking up with pains and aches that limit our range of motion. Why does that even happen and how can we prevent it from happening? The reason is quite simple, but the way to avoid it might be more difficult than you think. Tension is one of the main reasons why people experience aches and pains which is why stretching is the most efficient way to prevent those issues from happening. In addition to that, stretching is also important for the body on other levels which will get into in this article.
Stretching and stiffness:
We have all experienced the feeling of stiffness in the morning and it’s all due to tightness in the muscles while sleeping. However, as the day passes, we start to feel more mobile and agile. However, if you don’t do anything about it, you might start to experience more issues than you think. This is why it’s important to stretch and help the body loosen up when you wake up.
Why stretching is important for the body:
It’s very common to have tension build up in the body especially around the neck, back, hip, and shoulder. Because most people work jobs that don’t allow them to move around as much, the tension in the muscles begins to worsen until you have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Stretching releases that tension because it allows the muscles to get back into their normal range or contraction. Every muscle in our body can either contract or stretch, but if we overuse some muscles such as the ones in the back and the neck, those muscles tend to over contract for long periods of time which causes some parts of the back and neck to be in less than optimal places. For instance, a hunched back, tucked chin, or forward shoulders are all symptoms of a larger problem that is muscle tension.
Herniated discs might be a problem caused by a pulled muscle, obesity, or strain, but it is also caused by long term tension in the muscles, ligaments, and overall structure of the back. Therefore, releasing tension through stretching is the most optimal way to reduce the pains aches.
How to stretch for health:
There are generally two types of stretches, dynamic stretches, and static stretches. The dynamic stretch is where the body works hard by contracting muscles to reach a full range of motion such as a deep squat. Not only does the deep squat stretch the muscles in the lower body, but it also works the internal balancing of muscles. Static stretching is when you’re stretching a particular body part without contracting other muscles such as the butterfly stretch which works on the inner thighs.
When to stretch:
It’s important to diversify the timing of your stretching as well as the type of stretches you do. For instance, it’s recommended to do some dynamic stretches upon waking up in order to improve circulation and get the body going.
Before working out is also a good time to do dynamic stretching, but it’s better to do static stretching after working out and before sleeping. While the timing does not matter as much, the most important thing to keep in mind is to be consistent on a daily basis and keep stretching not only when you have pains and aches, but also on a daily basis regardless of how you feel. Prevention is the best treatment!