As you age, muscles tighten and your range of motion in the joints can be minimized, putting a damper on active lifestyles, and even hinder day-to-day, normal motions. Tasks that used to be simple, such as zipping up a dress or reaching for a can off the top shelf, can become more difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.
Stretching classes are scheduled to be offered every Tuesday evening at the North Thompson Volunteer Centre (NTVIC).
Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. There are simple stretches you can do while watching TV, on the computer, or getting ready for bed. If you are doing strength training exercises, stretch in between sets. It feels good and saves time from stretching at the end of the workout! For many serious ‘stretchers’, the morning is the best time to stretch in silence, while mentally preparing for the day ahead.
Stretching is important for people of all ages. One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that with your new expanded range of motion, limbs and joints can more further before an injury occurs. There are many people who strain or break ankles by ‘rolling over’ their foot, whereas a flexible person would likely avoid such mishaps. Stretching helps to gain confidence with strength and stability, whether one is walking or running.
Pre and post-exercise stretching can also aid in workout recovery, decrease muscle soreness, and ensure that your muscles and tendons are in good working order.
The more conditioned your muscles and tendons are, the better they can handle the rigors of sport and exercise, and the less likely that they’ll become injured.
Stretching comes naturally to all of us. You might notice that if you have been sitting in a particular position for a long time, you stretch unconsciously. it feels good! In addition to that good feeling, a consistent stretching program will create a positive mind-body connection with the new understanding of the muscles and how they work. If you are kind to your muscles, they will be kind to you.
It does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can end up giving you huge results. Stretching daily will enhance your physical fitness, enhance the ability to learn and perform skilled movements, and enhance the dynamic range of motion during your daily and even high performance activities.
Daily stretching will increase both mental and physical relaxation, improve the development of body awareness (mind-body connection), reduce risk of injury to joints, muscles, and tendons, and reduce muscular soreness and tension.
Stretching classes are being held at the Volunteer Centre (the Ridge) every Tuesday starting Aug. 7, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The classes are being offered free of charge, thanks to an anonymous donation, with the belief these classes will be healthy and beneficial for the community.
Organizers are aiming to have a ‘scent free’ class, so please keep perfumes and colognes to a minimum; and if you can, wear synthetic free, loose fitting clothing. Stretching the lungs is part of a good stretching program, therefore airborne chemicals should be limited.
For more information, please call NTVIC at 250-672-0033.