Stretching: Why, When and How

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Stretching: Why, When and How?
There are plenty of reasons why stretching should be a crucial part of your workout as well as your everyday routine. From the minute you wake up in the morning, stretching will dramatically help your circulation and energize your body to take on the day.

Stretching: Why, When and How?

There are plenty of reasons why stretching should be a crucial part of your workout as well as your everyday routine. From the minute you wake up in the morning, stretching will dramatically help your circulation and energize your body to take on the day.

The Benefits of a Good Stretch

There are several benefits of stretching; both physical as well as mental. No matter who you are, how old you are, or what you’re doing, you should be stretching at some point or another. The older we grow, the more our muscles tighten, resulting in limited range of motion, stiffness, and tension.

Stretching can help to increase flexibility, enhance your circulation, improve your posture, reduce and even prevent pain or injuries, and even reduce stress. In turn, all of these things together will give you a greater overall sense of well-being.

When to Get Stretchin’

While several studies have been made about the benefits or effects of stretching before or after exercising, the results are still somewhat inconclusive. It turns out, however, that the “when” and “how” of stretching can actually make or break your workout. Stretching – done correctly - before a workout is crucial in order to prepare your body for movement and prevent injuries. See below to find out what kind of stretching you should be doing and avoiding.

When it comes to stretching post workout, although you don’t need to spend so much time or focus on all your muscles, it is still important to do a few basic stretches. After a workout, your muscles are left in a shortened state, so stretching will help to “reset” your body back to a natural position and posture, preventing soreness, stiffness, and injuries.

Throughout the rest of the day, particularly when you wake up or along the day if you have a desk job where you’re in the same position for a long time, try to do some basic stretches every now and then. Approximately every 20 minutes, have a little stretch and be sure to get up and move around a bit. Doing so will help to boost your circulation and even your energy levels.

Doing Things the Right Way

So we’ve established that stretching is good for you, but now you need to see that you’re doing it well. Stretching incorrectly can do far more harm than good, so take good care. One important note is to realise that stretching is not the same thing as a warm-up. Make sure that you do a proper warm-up to get your heart pumping and blood flowing for about 10 minutes before you stretch. Focus on all the major muscle groups and joints and remember to keep things equal and symmetrical.

When you’re stretching, avoid bouncing in your stretch. Instead, hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, but don’t push too hard or hurt yourself. Stretching is exactly that, stretching – so if you feel pain, you’re overdoing it.

If you suffer from any injuries or conditions, you may need to approach stretching with even more caution and adjust your techniques according to your capabilities. No matter what, be sure to take care of yourself and see to any troubles along the way with your doctor or physiotherapist who can then guide you accordingly.

So there you have it; your questions about stretching have been answered. For more facts and tips about health and fitness, be sure to check out our blog page by clicking here.


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