The Benefits of Assisted Stretching
I have been more focused on my emotional well-being in the past few weeks –– more so than I have been in a number of years. When life gives you lemons, it doesn’t fuck around. One day, things are running smoothly, and the next, there are lemons whizzing past your head at 190 miles an hour. During these times (after a quick freak out session), I have to dig into my tool bag and depend on what I’ve been taught over the past 20 years.
During times of distress, there are circumstances that cannot be changed, and circumstances that must. This is the time to accept those immoveable objects, and dismantle any circumstance or relationship that is no longer of service. Self-care is key in a crisis, and that can include solitude and silence, paying close attention to diet and water intake, organizing finances, forward focusing and planning wellness experiences, as well as updating your fitness regimen.
On the latter front, I decided to join an indoor cycling studio a couple weeks ago, as well as purchase a massage membership, and explore assisted stretching. In just a matter of days, I tried all three and loved them all, but I knew there would be pain. Having been predominantly sedentary during the fall and winter months, jumping into a new fitness routine was bound to cause physical discomfort –– but the benefits of starting a new physical routine as fun and engaging as indoor cycling, heavily outweighed any trepidation I felt, regarding soreness.
I needed a place to work out my fear, anger, and anxiety during this particular lemon-scented shit storm.
I introduced stretching into my new regimen as a way to stave off pain, and to help with overall tension, agility, and flexibility. I have never been very good at stretching myself. I am impatient and resistant. My muscles are always tight in my shoulders, back, and hands. I’ve have had issues with sciatica and severe tension in my hands from sitting in bed and typing all day. And, now that I’m cycling 3 to 5 days a week, there is even more tension in my shoulders, back, and hands, plus, pain in my knees and hips. For me, on this part of my journey, assisted stretching is a must, and I suggest you give it a try!
Your first visit to a stretch studio (if you have one in your area) is around $25, and it’s defiantly a game changer. Also, some massage chains, like Massage Envy, offer stretching services. So, check those kinds of places, too!
Improve your performance in physical activities.
Reduce your risk of injuries.
Help enable a full range of motion for your joints.
Allow your muscles to work more effectively.
Benefits of better flexibility include:
Less muscle stress during workouts and daily activities.
Increased range of motion, leading to better joint lubrication.
Improved muscular balance, helping you feel taller and stand straighter.
As for mobility, here are three of the pluses:
Improved muscle coordination.
Prevention of age-induced physical limitations.
Better activation and engagement of the muscles.