Stretching is sometimes ignored by athletes and even physical therapists. However, it is a critical part of any sports physio training. It has many benefits for the mind and body. Here is why you ought to incorporate it into your physical regimen.
The lengthening and stretching of muscles help to improve circulation throughout the body. With sufficient blood flow, different areas of your body will receive the nourishment they need for healing. Circulation also helps to remove waste from the system. A greater supply of nutrients to the muscles promotes healing and prevents soreness and swelling after an intense sports physio workout.
Reduce the Risk of Injuries
Physiotherapists encourage students to stretch in order to improve the muscle and joint range of motion. This enhances your capacity to perform day to day tasks without exerting unnecessary pain on your back, spine or legs.
Because stretching increases the range of motion for your joints and muscles it also improves coordination. In one study that tested the effect of stretching on stability; a device known as a stabilometer was used. Students were to try and balance on the device while performing tasks. Subjects that had spent 30 minutes stretching performed significantly better than the control who spent the same amount of time relaxing. The researchers concluded that this was because stretching had a positive impact on balance and stability.
Stretching relieves muscle tension and allows them to remain loose. This is beneficial for people who have adopted a bad posture due to stress, poor physiotherapy training or by improper sitting or standing. Stretching ensures that the spine and the various joints in your body move properly to enable you to adopt a good posture.
Improve Athletic Performance
Athletes can benefit by ensuring that they incorporate stretching into their physiotherapy exercises. With better circulation, flexibility, and coordination athletes will be in a better position to give their best performance while minimizing the risk of injuries. A sports physio program also needs to incorporate stretching as part of the healing process.
Stretching increases blood flow and loosens muscles thereby relieving physical stress. This has a calming effect on the mind. It enables people to perform tasks in an efficient manner. It also improves posture which reduces fatigue. The relaxing effect of stretching is felt by virtually all the systems in your body.
Tips on Proper Stretching
- Relax and Breathe: Do not hold your breath when stretching, ensure your breathing is smooth and slow.
- Hold Your Position: Hold your position for 15 to 30 seconds depending on your flexibility. You shouldn’t hold the position until you feel pain.
- Stretch after Performance: Stretching before running or jogging is known to limit speed. It is advisable to stretch long before the performance or immediately after to improve range of motion for the muscles and prevent injuries that may occur during training.
- Avoid Bouncing: Bouncing while you stretch can damage your muscle tissues. It can cause small tears on the tissues leading to swelling and pain. Ensure you move slowly through the forms for the best results.