Fitness

The importance of stretching

All opinions are my own. They are based on research, and advice from health practitioners. Always consult a physician before attempting any of these stretches.

We’ve all experienced aches, strains, PAIN and discomfort. It happens to all of us. It’s  even more of a pain when working out (pardon the pun).

I’ve decided to post about the importance of stretching, whether it’s after exercise or just when you’re encountering any of the issues I mentioned.

The main reasons for stretching are mobility and to alleviate pain and discomfort. There are many ways to stretch for whatever area of your body that’s sore

I endure pain and discomfort daily. I know I’m not alone. Many of you reading this have probably experienced this as well.

My first experience with back pain came over seven years ago. We were at our niece’s wedding. I remember it was almost one hundred degrees outside. Except for one glass of water, all I had to drink that day was beer. Unbeknownst to me, alcohol will cause dehydration, which the chiropractor I was seeing at the time said was probably the cause.

My back pain and issues about three years ago. I remember my back seizing up and the pain was unbearable. This was around the time I gave up exercising, because of my stupidity. I could not move my legs from front to back, only side to side. Muscle spasm? Pinched nerve? The doctor at the ER thought it was either (disappointed face).

From that point on, I dealt with chiropractors, physical therapists and doctors putting me on pain medicine and muscle relaxers. I even had two cortisone injections! Nothing seemed to work!

I went to another physical therapist and she determined that the majority of my problem was muscular, not skeletal. Sure, I have a bulging disc in my lower back, but, because of my muscles so tight, they were really fighting against each other, and therefore was causing the discomfort.

She had me do several different stretches and my body reacted positively to them! I continue to stretch daily, mainly with a foam roller. That has been a godsend! You can stretch pretty much any part of your body with it.

Since I deal with back issues, I searched online for how to properly stretch with the foam roller. Yes, you can do it improperly. Going too fast is not conducive to getting the results you want. Go slow! You can find several back stretches, using a foam roller here.

For standard stretches for your back, you can find videos here.

For me personally, I don’t stretch before working out. I do warm-up exercises, little to no weight, just to activate the muscles I’m going to work. Before that, I’ll do arm circles one way for about twenty seconds, then reverse for twenty seconds. I also do arm scissors, moving your arms horizontally in front of you, crossing left over right, then right over left. Again, for twenty seconds, then lift light weights about ten repetitions.

Post workout is when I stretch. Whatever exercise you’re doing, look up warm up exercises you can do before working out and stretches for after. I also take turmeric supplements, which are noted for its anti-inflammatory properties. Stretching after a good workout feels so good! If you’re exercising, and you’re not stretching, you run the risk of injury, which will only set you back. Stretch for your health. Stretch for life!

33 comments

  1. I think stretching is extremely important. I also have a bulging disc in my lower back and my neck. Stretching seems to make it feel better at least for a little while.

    1. Yes! You might find that all-natural supplements that are used for inflammation might work, even if they help take the edge off the discomfort and pain. On the plus side, you won’t become dependent on OTC medicines!

  2. There is not better feel than to stretch. I love the way my back and legs feel when I give them that loud morning stretch yawn.

  3. It’s awesome that the stretches you were introduced to ended up helping so much! I can see why warming up and stretching would be important for preventing injuries.

    1. Yes indeed! I’ve learned from experience for me I’d rather warm up before exercising, then stretch after. I’ve pulled and strained muscles stretching pre-workout. Ouch!

    1. Yes. Even if you just do a light stretch, you’re diminishing the possibility of pulling a muscle. But, it also depends on the intensity of your workout too?
      Points to ponder

  4. This is so important before exercising. I know I don’t do it often, but need to do it more. I usually walk outside or on the treadmill.

  5. I actually just took a stretch break after a LONG day on the computer. It totally helps me when I’ve been at a desk all day.

  6. My friend has an injured back at the moment because she spends lots of time at the gym, boxing and doing various other stuff. Stretching the right way is so important.

  7. I have a bad habit of not stretching before or after working out. With all the back pain I’ve been having, I’m learning that stretching IS super important. Thank you.

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