In many ways, stretching is the underdog or the unsung hero of fitness. We say this because exercisers at all levels typically overlook the critical role that flexibility plays in making you look and feel better. More often than not, people neglect stretching because they think that cardio and strength training is all they need to achieve a nice-looking body and a higher fitness level. We don’t think so.
Pregnancy takes a big toll on your body. It makes some muscles loose and weak while others get tight and strong. Lengthining those tight muscles and strong muscles with proper stretching improves posture (an important step toward looking better!). Regular stretching also improves your fitness performance, helping you workout more effectively. Moreover, stretching aids in preventing body aches, pain or injury.
If you are reading this soon after your baby was born, you might feel as if your body’s been put through the washing machine. You’re recovering from birthing a baby. You are totally sleep-deprived. You are catering to the new born’s need 24 x 7. The last thing you need is uncomfortably tense, knotted-up muscles to slow you down. Stretching will help you get through your day like a boss and you will feel light with fewer body aches and pains.
You can stretch at home or on the go with your baby in a stroller. And on days when you don’t have time for even a ten-minute exercise routine, completing just a few stretches will help you feel more energized. We have compiled a few stretching guidelines that will help you relieve tension and stay fit
- Warm muscles stretch better and more safely than cold muscles do. Stretching is more comfortable to do after a workout or a hot shower batch or when you’ve been chasing a mobile baby round.
- Even after pregnancy, your joints remain loose for about three months, due to the hormone relaxin. With that in mind, use extra caution to avoid overstretching. Stretching should help you feel more relaxed, not painful. Stretch in a controlled manner, just untill you feel a mild tension in the targeted muscles.
- Breathe deeply as you stretch – this helps release tension.
- You’ll want to de-stress and be able to hold these stretches without continually jumping up to chase a crawler or a mobile baby. Wait until your child’s naptime for this routine.
- Stretch your body atleast four to five times a week
- Hold each stretch for ten to fifteen seconds.
Now it’s your turn. Time to stretch that stressed body of yours!
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