Does stretching first thing in the morning something that you love to do on a regular basis? Here’s an extra reward for your efforts: It’s beneficial to your body, particularly when you reach older ages. “Flexibility training is by far the most overlooked aspect of fitness,” shares Jessica Matthews, author of Stretching to Stay Young and senior adviser for health and fitness education for the American Council on Exercise. “It’s important to stretch.”
So what’s the reason behind all this? Following the age of 30, a person normally loses 2 kilograms of muscle every ten years, particularly if the individual doesn’t constantly work out no less than twice every week. A diminishing muscle mass corresponds with diminishing flexibility as well. “As muscle fibers recede, collagen can start to encroach to make your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage stiffer,” Matthews shares. The good news is Stretching out and training your muscle strength can disrupt the natural progression and aid you in executing an array of movements. This allows you to constantly grab different stuff on the top shelf or stand up from your chair without any problem. Once you achieve better flexibility, it will translate to your arteries as well, and this can aid in lowering your risk of acquiring various heart illnesses. Research conducted by PLoS ONE and published in November 2014 covering nearly 1,200 participants discovered that adult males and elderly females who had deficient trunk flexibility – validated when they were unable to extend their hands towards their toes while sitting down – exhibited firmer arteries compared to those who were more flexible. But since the study was conducted for observation purposes, however, it was unable to prove the potential of stretching in lowering the risk of heart disease.
Nevertheless, stretching requires minimal time – simply 10 minutes a day will suffice – to generate meaningful results. You need to guarantee that you’re maintaining a stretch for 15 seconds or more, however. “If you focus on taking five slow deep breaths during a stretch, that almost guarantees that you’re holding the stretch for the minimum amount of time needed to reap the benefit,” Matthews says. Below are a couple of stretches that Mathews suggests to get started. You can perform the two stretches first thing during the morning, following a bath or shower while your muscles are warmed up, or in the evening while tuning in to your favorite television show. Cat and Cow Adopted from a yoga pose, this seamless stretching technique aims to improve the flexibility of your upper back muscles. To begin, rest both hands and knees on the floor or even on your bed to resemble a “table” or a standing cat position. After the position is achieved, take a deep breath and raise your glutes (butt) and chest to the roof, permitting your stomach to curve down towards the floor. Afterward, exhale and return to the initial “table” position with both your hands and knees resting comfortably on the surface. Repeat 10 times.
Figure 4 Stretch The stretch aims to loosen your hips and glutes and looks a lot like the number 4. Lie down with your back rested comfortably flat on the floor or your bed and then bend one knee, either right or left. Position your other ankle towards the thigh of your bent leg. Using both your hands, reach out and grab the bent leg and pull it inwards towards the direction of your chest. After maintaining the position for 15 seconds, repeat the same process with your other leg.