It can be difficult to get your butt moving sometimes. Even I relate to that 😦
But knowing exactly where to start makes ALL the difference!
If I had 5 minutes to do one thing every day, can you guess what it would be?
I’d stretch because not only does it feel amazing, but it IS amazing.
In all seriousness though, stretching is an extremely legit and important practice to add to your daily routine. Even if you’re not planning on running 20k, stretching is STILL equally as important for your hot bod!
Stretching is good for your overall health, allowing your muscles to be well circulated, plus giving you numerous benefits for your body and your mind.
Benefits of Stretching for your Body 💪🏽
The more you stretch and move your muscles, the more flexible you become. The more you do it, the easier it becomes for your body, which is exactly how you improve your flexibility.
As we get older, we tend to naturally lose some of our flexibility so it’s important to keep your body moving so it can stay as young as your young little whipper snapper soul is 😉
Stretching strengthens your muscles and promotes proper alignment, so the more you stretch, the more vertical your posture will be. Poor posture can easily be reversed and healed with consistent daily stretching.
3. Injury Prevention.
When your muscles are warm and stretched all the epic movement you do becomes easier and more fluid-like which helps with injury prevention. The more you prepare your muscles for any exercising movement, the more your likelihood of injury is decreased.
4. Increased Nutrients and Reduced Soreness.
You probably know that stretching increases blood supply to your muscles, but did you know that it also increases nutrient supply? Stretching allows blood to flow through your body which carries nutrients and spreads them throughout your body. Increased nutrients and blood flow help reduces soreness!
Benefits of Stretching for your Mind 🧠
1. Calmer Mind.
Straight up, stretching increases blood flow throughout your body giving you a much needed mental break by allowing you to release, revitalize, refresh, and recharge! You’ll feel calmer and more at peace after a good stretch sesh.
2. Release that Ish.
Where do you hold your tension? Is it in your shoulders? Your back? Wherever it is, you know what I’m talking about. You likely carry stress in your muscles because when you feel overwhelmed, your muscles actually tighten as a defense mechanism. Since stretching relieves this muscle tension, it is the ultimate form of stress management.
3. Rocket Booster Energy.
When you stretch, you not only improve blood and nutrient flow, but actually increase your energy levels. Stretching helps you feel renewed and alive!
Keep these in mind to get the most benefit out of stretching:
1. Stretching does NOT replace your warm up
Stretching cold muscles can result in injury, so don’t stretch cold turkey! Your body is most receptive to stretching and its benefits when your muscles are warm, so stretch after a small bit of physical activity (1 minute of jumping jacks, speed walk around the block, etc…)
Keep this order of Ops in mind:
Warm Up ----> Stretch ----> Workout
2. Focus on tight muscles first
If you have tight muscles due to soreness and stress, it’s important to pay attention to these and work on them first so you increase blood flow and decrease tension. Once you stretch these muscles, movement will become easier and you’ll feel SO much better!
3. Save the Bounce for your Twerking
I’ve seen people bounce while they stretch and it makes me cringe and if I have anything to do with it I make it stop! Bouncing in stretches can actually put slight tears in your muscles. This can lead to scarring of the tissue, further tightening of the muscle, and ultimately decreased flexibility, plus way more soreness. All around - no bueno! So, just take it nice and easy.
4. Consistency is Key
Stretching doesn’t have to be time consuming at all, but it should be consistent. I recommend stretching once a day for 5 minutes to achieve maximum benefits. Irregular stretching patterns will just confuse your body and you won’t make much progress or be able to maintain a consistent range of motion. So just get into a good habit of doing it on the reg and you’ll be good to go!
5. Always practice good technique
Proper technique and stretching correctly is so important to injury prevention. If you’re doing it wrong, you can harm your muscles, overwork them, etc...So focus on your alignment, pushing yourself, but not going too far. Know your limits and you’ll be golden!
Now that you know all about WHY stretching is the shieeeeeeeez, let’s get you a simple follow along you can do with me every day to seriously step up your game in just 5 minutes!
Pro Tip #1: Start early!
Starting in the AM means you set yourself up for the best day ever!
Pro Tip #2: The most important thing is consistency, so even if you're short on time, DO SOMETHING, like this quick and easy follow along 5 minute stretch. Then you can feel good about your momentum and doing what you said you'd do. Even just 5 minutes a day can really change your life in the best way!
Remember, sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impact.
You are amazing!