The importance of stretching
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- Posted in Yoga & Pilates
Sitting. That's what we generally do a lot. Whether you're at the office, working at home, studying or have to travel from A to B in the car. The longer you sit, the harder it is to get out of the chair. The muscles protest when you sit for a long time, but they also don't feel like getting up...
Usually at the end of the day you end up in a cramped position without realizing it. If this happens day in, day out, week after week, it eventually results in back problems and other issues. The solution? Stretching every now and then!
Stretching without sports
Is stretching only a small part of sports? Certainly not! To properly explain why not, let's first take a closer look at what sitting all day does to your muscles. And how does stretching help?
What happens to your body when you sit all day?
If you sit all day – at your desk or in the car, for example – the nerves that activate the glutes are blocked. The glutes break. Not overnight, but gradually. This puts pressure on other muscles and joints in your body, which can cause complaints everywhere: in the knees, in the back, in the shoulders.
A sedentary life causes your muscles to shorten. In the long run, this has unpleasant consequences, such as pain and injuries. Stretching lengthens the muscles (if they were already shortened) or returns them to their natural length. So why do we stretch when exercising? Because exercise also causes the muscles to shorten! Proper stretching before exercise is important to warm up the muscles and, after exercise, to lengthen the muscles to their natural length.
Three benefits of stretching
- Stretching improves flexibility. A ballet dancer jumps over a fence more easily than someone who spends ninety percent of his life behind the screen – to name two extremes. By stretching you become more flexible, you move more easily and you regain your balance more quickly if you stumble, for example.
- Stretching is good for blood circulation. We already mentioned that by sitting in one position all the time, muscles get blocked, which in the worst case can cause them to die off. Stretching removes those 'blockages'. In addition, it ensures that oxygen is transported to the muscles faster and waste products are removed.
- Stretching is good for your posture. Anyone who spends a lot of time behind a desk notices that he shrinks a bit; the chest and shoulder muscles contract. Stretching ensures that those muscles regain the correct length, so that you stand and walk upright. And that's better for your whole body.
Massage in addition to stretching
A good stretching session can be followed by a massage. You can use a Massage Gun for example, or its travel-sized alternative, the Massage Gun Mini, with a foam roller or a massage ball. And how about a vibration plate?
A massage pampers the muscles, improves blood circulation and loosens everything that was still 'stuck'. And after a long day at work or a solid workout, a massage is just great to get your head and body completely out of work mode and to switch to leisure mode.
Also convinced of stretching? Our product range offers various accessories that help you stretch!