But first, we need to talk about what stretching does to the body, and why it is so important when it comes to fitness and health.
Why Should We Stretch?
Stretching is a fundamental part of physical fitness. It helps keep your body limber and flexible, and also prevents injury.
It does this by strengthening your muscles and making sure that your joints and ligaments are able to move to their fullest ability.
You have probably noticed that as you grow older, certain types of movements are much harder to do compared to when you were just a kid. Exercises such as reaching your toes, or bending backward can now seem difficult, and sometimes painful.
This is because as we grow older, we lose elasticity in our muscles and connective tissues. This means that without stretching and exercise, we lose mobility and flexibility in our bodies, along with some range of motion.
The good thing is that even if you are not as flexible as when you were young, doing some stretches and exercising can help bring back some of that flexibility. Not only will you feel stronger and much more limber, you will notice that there’s less pain when you move around, and certain tasks that require you to stretch are much easier to do.
10 Bad Stretches and Habits You Need to Avoid
Just like any other form of exercise, there are good stretches and bad stretches. Forcing yourself to stretch can even turn normal stretches into dangerous ones that can cause injury.
So it is important to take note of these bad stretches and dangerous stretches early on. This helps you develop good habits and form, and lowers the risk of injury.
Here are some bad stretches and habits that you need to avoid:
Stretching when you are injured
If you suffer an injury, whether it is from doing a sport or from exercising, you will need to rest. Try not to think about the missed days working out and just focus first on recovery before you do any strenuous activity.
Forcing yourself to stretch or exercise when injured can make things worse, and can even lead to a permanent injury. Do not listen to people who say that stretching your injured muscle helps it heal, that is just bad advice.
Doing it even if it is painful
One common motto that you hear when it comes to exercise is “No pain, no gain.” After all, exercise is hard work, and sometimes you just need to push through to achieve your fitness goals.