Are you lazy when it comes to your stretching routine? You don’t have to be.
By Sherwin Nicholson | SN Health Resources | Updated August 29, 2018
Do you struggle with stretching? Do you make excuses? Are you looking for practical answers?
First, here are 12 Questions to test you:
- Do you dislike stretching?
- Do you avoid it or procrastinate?
- Do you understand the benefit or purpose?
- Does it feel too painful for you?
- When you try it, is it uncomfortable, boring or ineffective?
- Do you only do it when absolutely necessary for relief?
- How long do you try to stretch for?
- How often do you think about using it as a treatment?
- Do you only do it later in the day as a low priority?
- Would you rather be instructed, or would you do it on your own?
- When was the last time you practiced it and did it help?
- When you try to stretch, how long do you do it for? Seconds or minutes?
If you found yourself struggling with any of these questions, then congratulations, you are a lazy stretcher!
In all seriousness, let’s see what can be done to help you improve your routine
The problems of stretching
Let’s admit it. Very few people enjoy it. Other than the one natural stretch (yawn) that we perform as we wake from bed with our arms in the air, it is not very natural at all.
The reality is that it’s not something we are generally interested in doing, and most of us don’t see the value in it at all. Some believe that there is probably very little reason to do it unless for preventative measures.
The biggest factor in wanting to stretch lies in whether or not you are experiencing immediate benefits or not. While some people can feel an immediate release of tension or pain, many don’t. They will likely become apprehensive of whether or not to continue.
Giving up too soon is too big a gamble. Your body needs time to respond depending on the nature of your injury or condition.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the point of it
Some of us may very well go our entire lives without stretching whatsoever. How can these people feel inclined if they do not see the benefit and don’t have any need for the benefits? In fact, the only time that we are inclined to do it is when we are instructed to.
Having to perform something only when instructed makes that function a chore and not a responsibility. Responsibilities are done because we want to. We should see and understand the importance of it, both now and in the future.
We usually only do it out of necessity
If you have an area that is sore and you stretch to help it, with enough time and effort, the discomfort may go away. But along with it, so might your desire to do it again. This may not seem like a big deal as the soreness is no longer an issue.
But when the pain is more chronic, this is not enough. You’ll need to become more committed to the practice.
When you stretch a particular muscle for the purpose of improving your health, do you understand?
- What muscle it affects?
- How it affects that particular muscle?
- The joint or joints that muscle also affects?
- How is the injured area affected?
- How often should you stretch that muscle?
We don’t want to see this vital activity as a chore, but a responsibility. It should be part of your daily routine. It is purposeful and functional. Don’t treat stretching as an ‘as needed’ chore but as something you will look forward to doing.
Responsibilities and Benefits
- prevention of injury of muscles, joints and nerves
- improves circulation and cardiovascular performance
- increases flexibility and mobility
- benefits and relaxes the mind and body
- improves muscle tone
- it is simple and has little risk of injury to the body
it is easy to perform and very convenient
We often become torn with how to go about managing our pain because:
- The less that you are sore or injured, the less you are inclined to stretch as you don’t see the purpose.
- The more that you are sore or injured, the more that you may want to do it.
- The worse that your injury becomes, the less that you are willing to continue.
Setting the goal of becoming a committed stretcher is a huge mental obstacle. It does not even, begin to address the physical obstacles also involved with lower back pain.
Some Reasons that we Avoid It
weight bearing pain
muscle imbalance or weakness
vertebrae or disc injury
inflammation and swelling
increased discomfort and worry of risking further injury
Lazy stretching can lead to a whole host of problems and can prove rather time-consuming, ineffective and a waste of time. At worst, it will contribute to the problem of lumbar disc pain and discourage you.
It is not until you feel the benefits, that you become more interested in it and more committed. Stretching has its ups and downs (literally), and some may discontinue when it becomes too difficult or does not help.
Becoming a Committed ‘Stretcher’ Involves:
Breaking the bad habits that are worsening our pain.
Knowledge of what it does for the body part and injury in question.
Knowledge of which muscle, joint and area of the body is affected and what to do with it.
Investment of significant initial time to do it carefully and slowly.
Patience and endurance to cope with any temporary physical effects during and after.
The desire to continue for preventative, practical and functional reasons and not temporary.
A goal-oriented vision that it is purposeful and meaningful for your lumbar spine and its safety.
Understanding that stretching does get better, becomes more comfortable and has effective results with time.
If you are looking for a great program that can teach you just the right moves and stretches meant for your back, search no longer. The Lowbackpainprogram ebook can help you. It contains numerous specific and targeted movements and stretches that are vital to the effective long term relief.
They are designed to carefully relieve you so that you will have minimal discomfort as you progress in the program. As you progress, you will be able to perform shorter and easier stretches that will require less of your time as you resume your daily activities as before.
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