Busy schedules and hectic lifestyles make it tough for people to find time for exercise. Realizing that exercise just cannot be ignored, many people resort to stretching and foam rolling, even 10 minutes of which can be extremely beneficial. Let us clearly understand what exactly these two terms mean?
Foam Rolling –
This is basically a muscle-releasing technique that aids in increasing the blood flow in a specific area and reduces inflammation. It is predominantly helpful for liberating the muscles of the upper back, outer thigh, and areas that are inaccessible through stretching alone.
This technique works to neutralize tightness and tension built up in muscles. Be it any type of stretching (dynamic or static), it helps in increasing flexibility and maintain the alignment of joints and the mobility of muscles.
Here are some wonderful benefits of stretching and foam rolling that will surely convince you to add these techniques to any health routine.
1. Increased Blood Flow
As a part of warm up, both these techniques gets the blood flowing to your muscles, thereby reducing the possibility of any kind of injury. Stretching and foam rolling help flush out the blood that has collected in the working muscles and permits fresh nutrients and oxygen to come in and start the healing procedure.
2. Increased Flexibility And Range Of Motion
Various studies have shown that combining static stretching with foam rolling improves flexibility greatly. This in turn aids in limiting the soreness and also prevents injuries.
3. Relieves Pain
Foam rolling and stretching is perfect for getting rid of muscle tightness, soreness or any knots in the muscles. Though it may cause some discomfort in the beginning, but it feels great after the entire session is over.
4. Strengthens Posture
Stretching properly assists greatly in correcting posture. Stretching the lower back muscles, chest and shoulder muscles will also help you maintain your spine and diminish aches and pains.
Also, these exercises lower the secretion of stress hormone- Cortisol, which help you recuperate from a strenuous workout.
5. Augments Stamina
Longer workout sessions mean burning more energy, which leads to fatigue. Combination of both of these exercises can help you delay fatigue by increasing the flow of blood throughout the body and growing your endurance.
When to stretch and roll:
Stretching and foam rolling is suitable for pre & post workouts individually. Foam rolling can be done at any time of the day and has the same benefits, regardless of being done before or after the exercise. As far as stretching is concerned, doing dynamic stretches before the workout helps prepare the joints and muscles for movement.
Being strong and aerobically healthy is important but these simple techniques can reduce soreness, pain and tightness while improving overall functional fitness. They help avoid injury and provide fast recovery after a workout, which in simple terms means you can keep working out with lesser and lesser interval time, ultimately have faster results!
Try these extremely beneficial stretching techniques for a week and you’ll perceive the drastic changes yourself.
Peter Barron, a personal fitness trainer in Dubai helps people to lead a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and good nutrition. He has been working with clients and helping them to change their lifestyles and achieve their goals for the past 10 years.
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