I woke up one morning and couldn't even get out of bed.
Like most mothers, I live a very busy lifestyle working my desk job, gardening, and driving the kids around. Thanks to my tireless way of living, I don't have much time to exercise.
I didn't consider the benefits of stretching five minutes a day until it was too late.
It was a Monday morning, and I was awoken as usual to the sight of a little face begging for pancakes. I tried sitting up and a dull ache settled in my lower back. After a visit from the doctor, I was deemed bedridden with strained back muscles from hunching over too much. I was in so much pain.
Thankfully, after a couple of days away from work with an ice pack and a list of daily stretches, I was back to normal.
Stiffness & Strains
Human bodies are like elastic bands; the more they are stretched, the better they perform. Stretching for five minutes every day can reduce any muscle tightness and increase flexibility. Muscle tightness is described as the stiffness and rigidity of muscles, resulting in the inability to move as usual. This can be caused by not stretching after exercise, getting up in the morning, or after sitting in a chair for long periods. Stretching the body like a rubber band every day will loosen up your muscles, and help avoid any future muscle strains.
There are many unforeseen dangers to having a desk job including boredom, fatigue, and restlessness. However, many people do not consider how sitting down for hours on end will affect their muscles. Even if you exercise regularly, you still may be at risk of muscle degeneration. Muscular degeneration can present itself through one limb being weaker or smaller than the other. If you have been cursed with a desk job, stand up regularly and perform some easy dynamic stretches. Stretching out your glutes, hip flexes, and back, in particular, can prevent any future pain and discomfort.
It is important to stretch the body every day, including days without exercise. This can increase athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury whilst exercising. Dynamic stretches involve moving whilst stretching, as opposed to holding positions, to keep the muscles warm.
On days when you do exercise, stretching after these activities will cause the proteins in your muscle fibres to fuse, and create more fibres. This increases muscle tone. With extra muscle fibres, there is a less likely chance of injuring yourself whilst exercising.
Poor posture is the silent killer. You may not feel any ill-effects after sitting at your desk for a few hours, but over time the stress poor posture puts on your spine can lead to serious damage. Anatomical changes to your spine may take place, causing pain through the constriction of nerves and blood vessels. Also, poor posture can lead to problems of your muscles, joints, and disks and create even more needless pain. A few stretches a day will help you avoid this.
When you are under a lot of pressure, your muscles can tighten when responding to both physical and emotional stressors. Five minutes of stretching a day can release the built-up tension that can accumulate particularly in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. Your mental wellbeing can have a big impact on your physical wellbeing.
Look after yourself and plan for the future by doing five minutes of stretching a day. You may save yourself a whole lot of pain!