The importance of stretching

Stretching and flexibility is an essential, yet often overlooked health-related component of fitness. Numerous studies support the short and long term benefits of various types of stretching, including static stretching and dynamic stretching, just to name a few.   Dr Daniel Irvine from Irvine Chiropractic takes us through the reasons why we should be taking the time to incorporate stretching into our everyday routines.

You can read the full transcript below:

Transcript RFL Wellness channel – Stretching

Hello and welcome to another edition here of the Wellness channel, Relax for Life.

Today I am going to chat to you about the importance of stretching. Nothing too specific today, I will give you another video down the track on how to stretch for neck pain; and how to stretch for back pain and anything else you guys want to know with regards to stretching. But today, just a quick video on the benefits of stretching.

Whether you’ve got a bit of back pain, neck pain, whether you’re just stressed mentally, stretching, preforming a bit of some yoga, Pilates, any of these sorts of modalities can really help you from here all the way down to your toes. (Head to toes.) Stretching can improve your circulation; it can improve your feeling of wellbeing; it can improve the elasticity of your tissues, of course, which can alleviate pain. Why wouldn’t you want all of these things in your life? It’s something that’s free, its easy, that might take 15 to 20 minutes a day. For me stretching is something that keeps me together. It keeps me happy, it keeps me healthy. For me it’s a mind connection thing as well as a body thing.

I teach my patients about stretching anywhere from the toes to the nose and the importance just can’t be understated.

We have got some really effective tools available at our disposal these days in the world of myofascial release thanks to the cross fit world, you might have seen some of these torture tools, the

trigger point spikey balls, lacrosse balls, foam rollers, every gym is packed with these things now and they are very very effective.

The benefits of stretching though are still there, and the research backs that up, and anecdotally you can’t not feel better after stretching.

For me I stretch morning and I finish the night with a stretch. I teach my patients that when you go to bed tight, you are going to wake up tight and it makes perfect sense. I hope that you’ll agree. For the purposes of getting the best out of your stretches you

need to hydrate as well. You need to be really well hydrated to allow your tissues to stretch and actually make a change to the length of those tissues.

We have talked about in the past, with regard to research that we need to heat the tissues, we need to be really warm, and that is still true, but if your stretching the morning and night, there is no need to go for a 10K run and come back and stretch. Just make sure that your stretches are gentle; that they are relaxed in nature, your not taking them to the end point, and stretching the tissues too much. It’s just about gently coaxing them along and helping them be healthier from day to day.

Stretching every day is much better than stretching two or three times a week after your walks or your weekly sport or whatever it may be.

On the floor here at Relax for life, there is a beautiful chair here called the Flex, the Inada 3S Flex stretch chair and I’m going finish my day here with a stretch done for me, and that’s the end of this video.

Because I’m going to relax and have a nice stretch now, see you on the next edition.

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