HIGHETT PILATES and FITNESS CENTRE

Why Don't You Stretch?

Studio Pilates in Highett - Pilates Plus Lifestyle Studio

Here’s how the conversation goes…

Client: “I’m really tense and tight in my neck and shoulders, they ache at the end of the day and then keep me awake at night”

Me: “Do you do any stretching at home?”

Client: “No…I know I should” (sheepishly)

Me: “OK, do you think you could start doing some simple stretching to release you shoulders before you go to bed?”

Client: “I can try, but…….” (Just insert whatever excuse comes straight in to your head)

So you might think I’m being a bit harsh, but I have had this conversation over and over again and I find it perplexing that so many issues people have in their body and with their stress levels could be helped significantly by stretching every day.

Your body needs to stretch every day, that’s the bottom line. It’s a natural normal action that kids, babies and animals just do when they need to.

How much stretching you do depends entirely on how much effort and energy you’ve put in to attaining and maintaining a functional level of flexibility.

It also depends on your body type and how much natural flexibility you have…or don’t have.

When people comment on my great flexibility, I’m sure they just assume I have always had functional flexibility, but I most definitely have not! I made a very deliberate decision to work on my mobility and flexibility many years ago.

So I stretch every day for maintenance, spending anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes on it, depending on the activities I’ve done though the day.

Why? When you have stiffness and tightness in the body, it doesn’t feel good. It can cause aches and pains and restricts your movement ability. And in the long term, it’s not healthy for your joints, including your spine.

Here’s my take on why people don’t stretch every day.

  • They haven’t created the habit. Anybody can fit 15 minutes of self care in to a day. Even if it’s right before you go to bed or getting up 15 minutes earlier. If you don’t start to give yourself daily space to stretch, you may run in to problems further down the track.

 

  • When you are stiff and tight, it’s not the most enjoyable activity to do. It’s just the same as building up fitness, it takes a minimum of 6 weeks to start to feel the benefits of the initial training.
  • People do not know how to stretch properly. The value of being taught how to stretch properly can not be under rated! Learn from a professional what stretches are going to benefit your body specifically.

 

  • People don’t get HOW IMPORTANT stretching now will be when they get older!!!! This is a massive one. If you don’t want to lose your ability to move, or get up and down off a chair, or walk up stairs etc., you need to train for flexibility now.

 

  • People do not realise the importance of releasing muscle tension for stress release and mental well being. Stress gets trapped in tight muscles, a little stretch at the end of the day is a great strategy for stress management.

 

Now all you need to do is do it. Start slowly and don’t stop until you start to feel the results in your body.

Make the commitment of daily stretching practice and invest in your future well being and quality of life.

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