What is a Stretch?
There are many types and styles of stretching out there and many reasons to do stretching but the basics of stretching are simple, as per the dictionary definition: “to draw out or extend (oneself, a body, limbs, wings, etc.) to the full length or extent”. Basically whether it fascia, scar tissue or muscle fibres a stretch is creating length in that structure and usually for the benefit of the body.
- Length – Length in a body tissue is the one of the most obvious benefits to stretching, stretching reduces the tension in built up fascia, or shortened muscle fibres to let that structure relax.
- Range of Motion – Range of motion is the other most obvious benefit of stretching, when muscles are stretched and lie looser your joints can move further and you are able to accomplish more with freer movement. Any scar tissue or fascia restriction affected by a stretch will be lengthened or broken down to give you more room to move and allow your muscles to support your joints unrestricted.
- Blood Flow – Muscles are so strong that when they are tense and short they can cut off blood and nerve supply. The same thing can happen with fascia and scar tissue. A stretch will reduce the tension in these tissues and allow blood and nerve supply to return to normal.
Barriers to Success
As always with something that is good for you there are things that get in the way of taking care of yourself. I will be the first to admit that stretching can be boring; in this fast paced world 30 seconds can feel like forever when you are just waiting for your muscles to respond. I find that is the reason I must use a Challenge to keep me on track. Stretching can be painful, either because of your particular situation, or occasionally because of a stretch being performed improperly. However, it does get easier the more you do it and there are many resources out there to help you stretch properly. Lastly; life is busy! We all have a lot going on and even a 4 minute change in your day can be a lot to work when you’re not thinking about it. Stretching can be easy to over look because “I can do that whenever” or “I just don’t have the energy right now”. Finding those few moments in your day can make all the difference though so it is definitely worth adding it to your schedule.
If you have questions, need help finding out what stretches are best for you, where to fit stretches into your life or even better; get someone to stretch for you give Isaac Stogryn, RMT a call and ask about our Stretching and Homecare sessions. Our RMTs will work one on one with you to build a simple plan that fits into your lifestyle and helps you reach your body goals; by helping you stretch, showing you the best stretches and fitting them into your schedule we can help you to where you want to be.