Joint pain and discomfort are unpleasant to say the least. If left untreated, it could possibly develop into arthritis that could be extremely debilitating. Failing to properly care for your joints and maintain them jeopardizes them for a lifetime. So what kind of actions cause their deterioration? It all starts with muscular imbalances that stem from repetitively performing daily activities such as sitting, and long periods of static postures that impede blood flow to muscles and bones.
Many people underestimate the importance of stretching before and after working out. However, stretching is vital as it helps decrease chances of injury by allowing the joints to move through their full range of motion.
A general rule of thumb is that you should perform a low-intensity exercise for five to ten minutes before and after your workout. Stretch all the major muscles such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders for 20-30 seconds each. As this is the easiest method to avoid extreme joint pain, here are six stretches to focus on for your next workout:
- Wrists – start by rolling your wrists clockwise, and then in a counter-clockwise motion to keep wrists limber.
- Chest – push arms out to the side, parallel with the ground. With the palms of your hands facing forward, stretch arms as far back as possible.
- Shoulders – hold out your arms to the side keeping them parallel with the ground, then bend the left arm up and use the left forearm to ease the right arm closer to your chest.
- Hips – sit upright in a chair, hold onto the seat, and then lift each leg like you’re walking – the higher the lift, the deeper the stretch.
- Knees – warm up the knees by extending out and lifting up one leg at a time. Another exercise you can do while sitting involves bending the knee at 90 degrees and pulling it inwards with your arms.
- Feet – rock feet back and forth while lifting up the toes and roll them forward so your heels can pick up.By stretching on a regular basis, it enhances muscular flexibility which then ease any aches and pains. Not only that, stretching helps enable an optimum range of movement by opening up the joints, tendons and ligaments.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how to avoid injuries while working out or to learn how you can incorporate stretching into your daily routine.