Stretching helps improve flexibility. Did you know that the type of stretching you perform can make a big difference in how much and how long you will maintain flexibility? Static stretching is no longer the gold standard. Here are the reasons why:
1. Time consuming- the stretch reflex will cause the stretched muscle to contract therefore requiring a prolonged hold time to allow for the muscle to habituate and relax before the lengthening can occur. This typically takes 20-30 seconds for 1 repetition.
2. Reduced blood flow- therefore decreased oxygen and nutrients to the stretched muscle during a prolonged hold. This can lead to muscle soreness.
3. No education- the muscle may lengthen, but will progressively lose the length over time. With dynamic stretching, the agonist (contracting) muscle is learning to move through new ROM and the antagonist (stretching) is learning to allow the new ROM. The active component provides the needed education for lasting results. A recent study comparing active stretching and static stretching on hamstring flexibility yielded interesting results. The study used active knee extension ROM to determine hamstring flexibility. After 3 weeks of stretching, the active stretching participants showed improvements that almost doubled the passive participants. By the end of 6 weeks, the passive participants caught up slightly, but were still significantly less. This shows active stretching gains occur more quickly. The most interesting finding was in the maintenance of the ROM. The stretching was stopped and the participants were retested at 4 weeks. The passive group lost almost all the gained ROM while the active group only lost about 25%.
Active Isolated Stretching is one very effective type of active stretching that uses a 2-second hold time allowing for more repetitions, maintenance of blood flow and neuro re-education.
What a wonderful day friday is. It is the day that reminds us of how hard we have worked all week and to start to slow things down for the next two days. Unfortunately that is where we go wrong. We don't slow down for those two days. What ever happened to relaxing on the weekend? In today's fast paced world we have to remember to take care of ourselves. Even if we have the weekend jam packed with activities here is a great way to just relax and be in the moment.
Sit or lie down outside for 15 minutes. During that time start by looking around. What do you notice? The trees starting to bud, the branch broken by the winter ice...I guess I should trim that right now before I forget. WAIT! Make sure you are keeping your mind clear of the things that are in the future and just be in the moment. The green grass that is starting to peak through, the squirrel running up the tree. Now close your eyes. What do you hear? A bird singing, the wind blowing through the trees. What do you feel? Warm sun on your skin, gentle breeze blowing through your hair, the spider crawling on your arm! After 15 minutes you will feel centered and relaxed and more in touch with the world around you. This is a easy practice that can be done everyday to improve your wellness. Take time for you. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Did you know that 70% of kids drop out of sports by the age of 13? The reason is overuse injuries. Overuse injuries account for 1/2 of all sports injuries seen in middle and high school athletes. Young athletes specialize in sports at an earlier age and injuries that were once seen at the end of an athlete's career are now being seen at a much earlier age. This can be prevented by following these easy steps:
1. Don't specialize in just one sport
2. Do proper warm-up and cool-down
3. Do strength training (corrective exercise is preferred)
4. Perform stretching (Active Isolated Stretching is preferred method)
5. Don't return to sport too soon following an injury
6. Listen to your body
I challenge you to sit down and write down 10 Reasons to Get Healthy. Here are my 10 to help you get started:
1. I want to look good
2. I want to live to be 100
3. I have to walk the walk
4. I don't want to have regrets
5. I want to be a role model for my daughter
6. I don't want to be in pain when I am older
7. I want to have energy and feel great
8. I want to enjoy all life has to offer
9. I refuse to let the companies feeding us all the crap and making toxic meds control me
10. I AM WORTH IT!