To stretch or not to stretch, that is the question. Sounds like that line has been used before, let’s talk about the topic. Stretching your muscles is one of the most underutilized of all exercises, and I admit I have been guilty of not stretching myself, however as I have reached the middle aged years and been reborn through fitness, thankfully it has been reintroduced into my personal routine on a regular basis. Let’s get right to the heart of it, stretching is THE MOST important of all of our routines as far as fitness, the problem is with our instantaneous society and the mindset of I want it yesterday, stretching ranks right up there with cleaning the cat litter or scooping dog poop in the backyard, frankly not high on the priority list. The topic of flexibility is an extremely deep issue and one that will take many discussions, please let me call this piece the beginning and this topic will be revisited in following articles in more detail.
In a nutshell flexibility is defined as the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allow the full range of motion of a joint. Stretching that soft tissue, (muscles and connective tissues), allows for what is known as full range of motion, or dynamic range of motion. It really boils down to the communication of your brain and nervous system to your muscles and bones to produce efficient movement. When the communication between those parts of your body break down you can lose efficiency and run the risk of improper movement patterns, postural problems, which eventually can lead to an injury.
One of the major issues that we are dealing with in the 21st century is a sedentary lifestyle, work environments where sitting is common due in part to technological advancements. This type of environment opens the door to muscle imbalances, tightness which can be the precursor to aches and pains. It is only through stretching that we can overcome these issues, and leads us to corrective measures, and improved flexibility.
There are and is much more to discuss in regard to this topic, and as I stated earlier we will revisit this topic in much deeper detail and specifics in following articles. If you have specific questions please post to the site and we can open the forum and discuss in detail, remember the purpose of GRT Fitness and Wellness and our website is sharing information so we all can lead happy and healthier lives, everyone’s questions and opinions are important, and there are never bad questions.
Thanks for reading,
“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts–once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness–simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work and above all, a clear conscience.”
Here is a great link to an awesome site full of good information, not that I try to send people away from our site, the point is sharing helping and getting into better condition together.
 Alter MJ. Science of Flexibility, 2nd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1996