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Why stretching is so important

I cannot tell you how many times, especially when doing Kneader On-Site Massage (is it because we go into offices?), that I have spoken to men and women who will proudly confirm that they regularly work out in the company gym but who, in the same breath, will sheepishly admit that they never stretch after their workouts, or at their desk during their workday, or at home.  They always proffer the same excuse – they just don’t have the time.

And then they honestly wonder why their muscles are tense, strained or injured.

Giving yourself a good workout is great, but it’s not so great to push your body hard for an hour or so if you’ve been stuck sitting at your desk for three hours before your gym date and will resume that same, non-stop sitting position for 4hrs+ after it.  Anybody who spends longs hours at their desk these days will know the Health & Safety advice of getting up and moving about every hour for at least 5-10 minutes, including the desk stretches and guidelines for positioning chairs and screens; but such advice falls into the ‘best practice’ category and there are too few companies that actually treat such advice as gospel.  I think that’s why so many employees love the gym (and having treatments like Kneader On-Site Massage) because only by removing themselves completely from their working environment can they focus on their own physical and mental needs.

As a massage therapist, I can only give my clients a relaxing treatment and send them on their way with that ‘best practice’ advice, but I always do say this (and I must have said this thousands of times):  “It’s better to be limber than pumped up/buff/ripped etc” and that applies at ANY age!

Below is a great whole body stretching routine if you’re not into Sun Salutations and should take 20-30mins which, if done 2-3 times a week, would really help keep your muscles stretched and in better condition.

Whole body stretching exercises

But, if you don’t have that type of time, Pin Interest does a great little page on 10-minute bedtime/wake up stretches.  I always advocate such stretching – if we go to bed stressed and tight, we will wake up the same way.  Also, jumping out of bed and straight into the day is a bit of a shock for the body after it has spent 6-8 hours in the prone position, so doing a couple of wake-up stretches is a great way to face your day.

Wind-down and Wake-up Stretches

And, of course, get regular massage!  It’s important to put yourself in a position where you regularly give a professional ‘the wheel’ to let your mind and body relax whilst that therapist drives home whatever treatment you’ve chosen – it really has been proven in study after study to have beneficial results for people both mentally and physically.  So ‘Namaste’ and happy massaging!