How To Melt Away Back Pain And Shoulder Tension
I’ve been focusing on ways to stretch every day for many years now and I love it. I am particularly intrigued by the Eastern idea of energy flow–of moving chi, or energy, through your body. The more freely energy flows, there healthier and more energetic you feel. When energy is blocked, areas of the body may become tight; over time they can become rigid, even painful. Stretching can helps alleviate this pain if performed properly and on a regular basis.
For most of us, our daily activities do not promote suppleness and freedom of motion. When we sit all day at work, our muscles tighten; in time our body starts to feel locked and compressed. Age, too, makes us stiffer. You may notice it when tying your shoes, or turning to look over your shoulder in the car. And yet, with just a few minutes of effort a day, it’s possible to actually become more flexible as we get older. This is one of the most overlooked areas of fitness, and the benefits are enormous.
The Benefits of Stretching:
Improve Your Posture
Excessively tight muscles can actually hold your body in a hunched or poorly aligned posture. Stretching and loosening up the muscles of the back, shoulders, and hips will make it much easier to stand tall and straight
Move With Greater Ease
There’s a reason dancers spend so much time stretching. Good flexibility is essential for creating fluid, unrestricted movement. Regular stretching will promote an easy grace that will make all activities more enjoyable.
Protect Yourself From Injury In Daily Activities
If you’ve ever been on skis or rollerblades, you know how easy it is to suddenly find that one leg is going east while the other’s going west. Sudden stretching forces like this aren’t limited to sports, though; they occur in many daily activities. The ability to absorb an unexpected stretching force without getting hurt is all a matter of flexibility.
Protect Yourself From The Stress Of Weight Training
Working your muscles with weights can sometimes create muscle tension. I find that stretching after, or even during, my weight routine is a great way to keep the muscles relaxed and keep my energy flowing.
Promote Spinal Health And Prevent Lower Back Problems
Because we sit so much, the muscles that flex and extend our legs may become shortened. This affects the way you move when bending and lifting, and may place awkward (asymmetrical) stresses on your lower back. Stretching in the hip muscles will help keep your back safe and pain-free.
Relax and Recharge
There’s something about the slow, deliberate pace of stretching and the the deep breathing involved that just seems to melt the stress from your body. It releases both physical and mental tension. In fact, a few minutes of light stretching before going to bed is one of the best “sleeping pills” I know.