Sure, you may have heard to take a little stretch before a run, but oftentimes stretching is put on the back burner of daily activities. I mean after all, the exercise is the main focus, and the main benefit… Right?
Not so fast! Improving your flexibility will allow you to improve your athletic performances and the range of motion in your joints! Not only will this help you enjoy a better work out by increasing the blood flow to your muscles, it will enable your muscles to move more effectively and decrease the risk of injury from daily wear and tear on your body.
It is very important to use the right techniques to avoid straining your muscles and harming your spinal health. When you aren’t careful, stretching can do more harm than good.
Here are some tips on how to stretch properly:
-Don’t stretch cold muscles, warm them up with some light jogging or a warm up exercise to loosen the muscle fibers.
-Stretch both sides of your body equally! If you are less flexible on one side, that is totally normal, just keep on treating both sides equally, and it will even out over time.
-Stretch in one smooth movement; don’t bounce the stretch, or you could get injured.
-One of the most important: MAKE SURE TO BREATHE! Inhale and Exhale at an average pace, don’t use hurried breathes. Breathing is so important because it is what allows the muscles to expand and contract, allowing your muscles to loosen up!
-Wear comfortable, flexible clothing
-Stretch on flat/comfortable surfaces.
Pared with Chiropractic Care, stretching regularly will relieve pressure on your neck and back. For example, the hamstring muscles in the back of our legs (muscles that we put a lot of our weight on every day) are connected to your back and neck. If you have inflexible hamstrings, it doesn’t just cause headaches and soreness in your back and neck, but it can also increase the chance of injury to your spinal muscles!
For some basic stretches that can help you achieve optimal flexibility, and help you maintain your spinal alignment, check out the stretching and flexibility tab at http://www.alphaspinecenter.com/performance.html and check out the Exercise Video link at www.alphaspinecenter.com/exercise-videos.html , or ask Dr. Salminen about good stretches that work for your body and to the activities you love to do!