With the easing of government restrictions on public movement, and, we at Shefford Osteopathic Clinic stretching out our arms and embracing your return, let’s come together to work the ‘physical’ kinks out!
As we physically stretch our boundaries and are able to meet with a small group of friends or family, ensure your body is ready as well. You can do this a number of different ways with stretching.
Stretching, also known as flexibility or mobility exercises, may take one of many forms. You may prefer performing one of the variety of different types of yoga, or perhaps something to target specific muscles or groups of muscles? Whatever your preference, the goal is to get or keep you moving!
There is a long history on the debate of stretching, whether it is beneficial or not, or when to do it: before exercise, on its own, after exercise, static, dynamic, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation…and so on. Like an elastic band, the muscle-tendon unit (tissue) has a resting state (normal tension), stretched state (tissue under sustained tension), and a maximal stretch state (at the end point of tissue extensibility). In order to improve your flexibility, exercises need to be performed on a regular basis with noticeable results tending to be seen after a few weeks.
Popular types of stretching:
- Static – Good for post-activity as part of a cool down routine, the goal is to bring the body’s systems back to resting levels. Performed by holding at a position when tension is first felt in the muscle-tendon tissue. Maintained for at least 15 seconds; often repeated 2 to 3 times.
- Dynamic – Good for pre-activity to introduce movement to the muscle-tendon tissue in preparation for the demand of activity. Each movement gradually increasing in range of motion.
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) – A type of contract-relax pattern that is good for actively relaxing tense muscles by engaging the nervous system. Often used in a clinical environment.
Please remember stretches should never hurt or cause pain, they should be gentle and held at the edge of comfortable tension.
Keep an eye out for our video routines that can be done in five minutes, or less, at your desk, seated or standing!
Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that combines different positions or poses that may be beneficial to improve: joint range of motion (also known as flexibility), strength, and balance (also known as proprioception).
Some evidence suggests yoga, when practiced regularly, may help physical ailments such as cardiovascular issues or muscle and joint pain. It has also been shown to be beneficial in boosting mental health.
There are many different types of yoga: hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, iyengar, bikram, sivananda and kundalini are just a few examples. If you are embarking on a yoga practice and unsure which one is best for you, please discuss it with your healthcare professional.
And if you’d like to discuss how an individualised program may assist your optimal health, please give us a ring! We are back open and treating people at our clinic.