The power of stretching: 3 reasons why you should stretch

Here’s a question for you: do you stretch? And if so, how often and how much time do you dedicate to it?

According to research, healthy adults should be stretching the major muscle groups — right from our neck to our ankles — at least two to three times a week.

For maximum results, the health gurus over at Harvard Health say a total of 60 seconds should be spent on each stretch. So, for example, you could hold a neck stretch for 15 seconds and repeat that move 3 more times.

So why is stretching so important?

“From improving your flexibility to maintaining your range of motion, stretching is key to supporting your overall health,” Osteopath Denise Callaghan says.

“Which is why, I’d really urge you to make sure you add some form of stretching to your to-do list, as the benefits of stretching are far and wide reaching,” Denise adds. “Even just 5-10 minutes each day can make a massive difference.”

  1. Stretching can improve flexibility

This benefit probably comes as no surprise. But being flexible can help you go about your daily life pain-free. It can also help you perform everyday activities with ease.

As we age, we lose a small amount of flexibility due to increased stiffness in joints and loss of elasticity in our tissues and surrounding muscle tendons. But with a little bit of stretching work, it doesn’t have to be the case.

  1. Stretching can boost your performance

Are you a runner? Or keen cyclist? Or do you prefer to lift weights in the gym?

According to the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, warming up before your workout by stretching can boost your exercise performance too, by “affording psychological stability, preparation, and confidence.”

It can also help to ease muscle pain or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), caused by training.

  1. It can increase your range of motion (ROM)

Range of motion is a term that’s used to describe the extent or limit a part of your body can be moved around a joint.

For example, some people can lie on the floor and lifts their legs up 90 degrees, while others might struggle to get their limbs past the 45-degree angle.

But that’s where stretching comes in. According to one study, both static and dynamic stretching can help to increase your ROM.

Static stretching involves stretching a muscle to near its furthest point and holding that for 15-20 seconds. While dynamic stretching sees you make active movements that stretch the muscles to their full range of motion.

The great stretch appeal — 3 exercises to try

Many of us spend most of our days sitting down. This is especially the case if you work from home, in an office or find yourself slumped on the sofa. So, to wake up those limbs, flex those muscles and become more flexible, try adding these three exercises into your routine.

  1. Neck roll
  • Stand up and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Dip your chin towards your chest and carefully, and slowly, roll your head in a clockwise position.
  • Repeat the move, but this time, take your head in an anticlockwise direction.
  • Perform this 3 times.
  1. Knee-to-chest stretches
  • Lie on your back and bring one knee to your chest. Hold in it position with your hands for 15-20 seconds to help elongate your lower back, relieving any tension.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform this 3 times.
  1. Shoulder stretch
  • Stand up and push your shoulder blades back and down.
  • Place one arm across your body and use your other arm to hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds. Repeat with the other arm.
  • Perform this 3 times.

If you are seriously struggling with your flexibility or any aches or pains, do get in touch.

Denise has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and uses a range of osteopathic techniques such manipulation, acupuncture and electrotherapy, to get to the root cause of the problem.

Book an appointment to get your body back on track.


If you would like to book an appointment with Denise please call