The Benefits of Stretching

Don’t belittle stretching.

Often overlooked, people write off stretching as not being able to help in reducing muscle soreness after exercise, or even help in the exercise at all. This myth is far from the truth.

On the contrary, stretching significantly helps in improving flexibility and range of motion for your joints. This in turn, helps decrease the risk of injury while working out and improves your athletic performance. According to Ms Agnes Liew, founder of Oompf! Fitness, stretching helps to prevent injuries to joints and muscles, and lubricates the joints to relief tension.

It is good to understand how stretching helps you, and important to know how to stretch correctly. Doing so can also help improve your posture, reduce stress and body aches, to name a few. For a start to Stretching 101, there are two different types of stretches:

• Active/ Dynamic Stretches
These are movement-based stretches, which are usually done before exercise. It helps to get your muscles ready for movement.

• Static Stretches
These are stationery stretching, usually by holding a stretch for a short period of time (between 10 to 30 seconds). These are most beneficial for after exercises.

Here, Agnes demonstrates some simple stretching exercises that you can do at home, and how these stretches help the respective parts of your body.

1. Gluts and Hips
These stretches release tension from your gluts and opens up your hips.

2. Hamstrings, Lats and Chest
These stretches help to increase the mobility of your hamstrings and reduce lower back pain if one is suffering from stiffness in the hamstrings. These stretches also give your lats and chest muscles a good stretch.

3. Lower Back and Lumbar Muscles
These helps activate your lower back and lumbar muscles, as it helps relief the tension in the lower back.

4. Chest
This stretch helps to improve your posture.

As good as stretching is for your body, it is not the only focus that you should pay attention to. Good nutrition, regular exercise and getting quality sleep are all key aspects of living healthily. Though one generally tend to pay more attention to nutrition and exercise, it is good to note that one should not downplay the importance of sleep. Sleep is one of the key components it not only helps you to exercise efficiently and effectively, but also helps with the day-to-day performance. It’s best if you can achieve 8 hours of sleep each night to enhance your sleep performance.

As Agnes aptly puts it, to enjoy a long, quality life, one should constantly put in effort and make a proper investment to keep fit and healthy. Though it may seem like a lot of effort, it will all be worth it in the long run. As the saying goes, health is wealth!

About Agnes Liew:
Oompf! Fitness was founded in 2017 by Agnes Liew, ex-Banker, Entrepreneur and Fitness Lover. Her discovery of what it means to be fit and healthy transformed her life and she started Oompf! Fitness to share her vision of becoming fit and fitter no matter your age or stage in life, and especially to empower women to age healthily and gracefully.