Benefits of Stretching


The body is flexible. It is supposed to be flexible. You must be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. You must be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf.

These are simple activities. Nothing grand about them, you merely stretched out a bit. However, if there are difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you have to stretch your limits. You already need a stretching program.

What Is Stretching?

Stretching is simply the act of extending to full length the body or simply a part of it. This activity involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs.

How Does One Do the Stretching?

Stretching is fairly easy. As mentioned in the introduction, it is involved in the normal activities. It can be done by any people, regardless of age.

However the extent of stretching and flexing differs. The muscles tighten as a person ages. The range of joint movements can be minimized. This can very well obstruct an on-the-go lifestyle. That is why as the person grows older, bending or flexing becomes more limited. This is why stretching regularly, as part of a routine is very important.

Simple stretches can be done everyday. It can be incorporated in the lifestyle and the daily activities. It does not require much of your time.

Stretching exercises can also be done while training. Actually, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good preparation for a more rigorous activity.

Most athletes would do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Actually, most trainers actually require their athletes to really do the stretching before playing.

There is actually an ideal length of time in stretching. It is best to do it in 10 minutes. This will give the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.

Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching the exercise to 30 minutes or more will already wear out the body. This will not be favorable if one is preparing for a game.

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

1. Increase the Range of Movement
As one constantly do the stretching exercises, the length of the muscles and the tendons are also increased. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place. You are definitely physically fit.

2. Increased Ability to Perform Skills
When you have a wide range of movement, the more you will be able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. This will also help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.

3. Injury Prevention
One can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.

4. Reduce Muscle Tension
If the muscles are given their regular exercises and stretching, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely relieve you of any muscle pain or problems.

5. Enhance Energy
Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, like knowing that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.

6. Reduces Cholesterol
Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand. This could prevent and even reverse the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases.

Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It has benefits you can not say no to. It also does not require much. It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.

Does spot reduction work for abs or doesn’t?


Burning fat from the abdomen through exercises specially destined to the abdominal muscles was, is and will always be one of the most resistant myths.

Almost all the people with a big belly take up, with a lot of determination, sit-ups, crunches, side-bends, twists, etc., hoping that every new series or set of exercises, every session of repeating them, will help them get rid of the ‘ring’ of adipose tissue around their waist, also called ‘the ring of death’.

Besides the fact that it is probably the most anesthetic ‘deposit’ of adipose tissue, abdominal fat involves many risks for the health of the person which possesses it (related to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, impotence, etc.).

We must keep in mind, once and for all, that when we refer to the melting of the subcutaneous adipose tissue, there is no spot reduction. No matter how much we strive to locate effort in the areas we are focused on, we will only fortify the muscles under the fat, but the reduction of the fat itself will be insignificant. The explanation is simple and is connected to the energetic support of the anaerobic effort, which uses, for the exercises, muscular and hepatic glycogen, and not fat acids from the adipose tissue. For getting to the deposits of fat, what we need is cardio training (running, biking, fast walking, swimming, etc.).This type of exercises must be maintained for a long time (45-60 minutes) and they must be intense (60-70% from the maximum of heart rhythm).

An alternative is cardio training with periods when intensity varies, although the total volume is not smaller than in the case of uniformly cardio training.

A very important role in burning fat is held by the diet. It is said that the most effective of training can be sabotaged in the kitchen.

The nutritionists say that a diet which maintains caloric deficit, but keeps a balanced proportion of the basic principles (proteins, lipids, blood sugar), with a slight increase of the protein part, will always have as a consequence losing weight. Physical exercises like sit-ups, crunches, etc., without other exercises meant to involve bigger groups of muscles (thighs, chest, back) and to fortify the abdominal muscles, do not increase very much the basic metabolic rate.

As a consequence, indirect burning of calories (during breaks, post-training) is very small in comparison with the burning due to aerobic effort (especially the ones with alternative periods) – in their case, during effort taking more than 20 minutes, the energetic support is exactly the adipose tissue.

The magic formula for burning abdominal fat is a combination of hypo caloric diet and exercise – especially aerobic, but also anaerobic (focused on all the body, not only the abdominal muscles).

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