Regular physical activity is vital for good health. While there is a risk of injury with any type of physical activity, the benefits of staying active far outweigh the risks…
If you do not stretch or exercise, your muscles will tighten and the range of motion in your joints can become minimised, over time hindering day-to-day norms such as zipping up a dress or reaching for a can on the top shelf. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living easier therefore allowing your limbs and joints more movement before an injury occurs. During an eight hour work day muscles can become tight and stiff, especially if you are sitting at a desk for most it! Stretching first thing in the morning is a good way to waken up tired muscles.
It is not easy to make stretching part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. It can be done while sitting at a desk or anywhere on-site where there is enough space for movement. Below are the benefits you can expect when stretching regularly:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased range of movement in the joints
- Enhanced muscular coordination
- Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body
- Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
Regular exercise can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, and can improve your mood and help you to better manage stress.
If you have been inactive or have not done regular exercise for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. You can reduce your risk of exercise injury while exercising by:
- Wearing the right shoes, gear and equipment
- Drinking lots of water
- Warming up and stretching.