Are you tired of feeling stiff and sore after every workout? Are you starting to notice aches and pains that you never had before? Welcome to your 30s, 40s, or beyond! As we age, our bodies become less resilient and require more care and attention to maintain optimal health and fitness. That's why it's essential to incorporate stretching into your workout routine.
Stretching isn't the most exciting or glamorous part of fitness, It’s not like hitting a new PR. It's often overlooked or skipped altogether in favor of more "fun" activities like lifting weights or running on the treadmill. But neglecting stretching can lead to decreased flexibility, increased risk of injury, and slower recovery times. Plus, as we age, our bodies need more rest and recovery time between sets, and stretching is an excellent way to take advantage of that rest time while still keeping your body moving.
Think of stretching like brushing your teeth. You wouldn't skip brushing your teeth just because it's not as exciting as eating candy or drinking soda. Similarly, you shouldn't skip stretching just because it's not as intense or challenging as lifting weights or doing HIIT workouts. Stretching is an essential part of your overall fitness routine and can help improve your quality of life in countless ways.
One of the main benefits of stretching is increased flexibility. As we age, our muscles and joints become stiffer, making it harder to move freely and comfortably. Regular stretching can help counteract this stiffness and improve your range of motion. This increased flexibility can help you perform better in your workouts, but it can also improve your daily life by making it easier to do everyday activities like reaching for objects on high shelves or tying your shoes or your kids shoes.
Another benefit of stretching is improved posture. Many of us spend our days hunched over desks or staring at screens, which can lead to poor posture and back pain. You’re not trying to be Quasimodo are you!? Regular stretching can help counteract these effects by lengthening tight muscles and promoting proper alignment. Good posture not only looks better, but it can also improve your breathing, digestion, and overall sense of well-being. Whether you recognize it or not when you walk into a room people notice your posture, it can help you command a room or keep you quiet in the corner.
Stretching can also help reduce stress and promote relaxation. As you stretch, you focus on your breath and body, which can help calm your mind and reduce tension. Plus, stretching can help release endorphins, the "feel-good" chemicals in your brain, which can improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
But what about all those aches and pains that seem to come with age? Can stretching really help with that? Yes! Regular stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, which can make it easier to stay active and maintain your fitness routine. Stretching can also help prevent injuries by improving your flexibility and range of motion.
So, how often should you stretch? Ideally, you should aim to stretch every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. But let's be honest, it's not always easy to find time for stretching. When we're in a rush to get to work or catch the next episode of our favorite show, stretching can easily get pushed to the wayside. That's why we recommend incorporating stretching into your workout routine. Instead of just sitting around between sets, take advantage of that time to stretch out those tight muscles. Not only will it help you recover faster and perform better during your workout, but it will also prevent you from aimlessly scrolling through social media for 10 minutes. Just make sure to hold each stretch for :30-60sec.
Stretching may not be the sexiest part of your fitness routine, but it's an essential one if you want to be able to train long enough to become the sexier version of yourself. And if you need a little motivation, think of it like you’re a bottle of wine. Sure, any old grapes will do, sure we can skip some the processes and just get it on the shelf, but don’t you think you’re better than a boxed wine!? If you want to be a reserve or better wine you need a little more time and attention to detail to turn out just right! Regular stretching can help you be that better wine by aging you better. So stretch and have increased flexibility to play with the kids or grandkids. Have improved posture to you can enter a room confidently and not struggle with aches and pains as regularly. Take the time to reduce stress by reducing the tension in your muscles. And last but not least prevent injuries because nothing derails your health and fitness goals like not being able to go to the gym for months on end!