Stretching Before Gardening & Yard Work
Stretching is highly under rated. A simple task that only takes minutes can have such a great impact on your life and health, especially if you are someone who gardens often or does a lot of yard work.
What happens if you don’t stretch?
Stretching our muscles decreases the tightness in our bodies. Tightness in our muscles leads to stiff joints that tear easier. Over time, a torn muscle can debilitate a person for weeks, months, sometimes even years.
If you sit in a chair all day long you are tightening hamstrings and thighs, at some point you may need to suddenly jump, and where it used to be easy as a kid, now that your muscles are tightened, you run a higher risk of tearing the muscle, which can lead to permanent damage.
What are the benefits of stretching?
- Your circulation improves
- Keeps joints lubricated and less stiff
- Reduced risk of injury
- Longer/better range of motion
The Harvard University website has this to say about stretching…
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
What are the reasons for stretching?
You want to keep your muscles long and flexible, it allows for greater movement and motion, range of motion. Reduces your risk of injury and people who are more flexible have said they simply feel better, in general.
How long do I have to stretch for?
Surprisingly, only a little bit of stretching goes a long way. Most people don’t stretch at all. Look at a house cat, he stretches when he gets up or lays down, a few seconds. Taking 20 seconds to stretch your muscles before and after you sit down all day at work can have a huge benefit.
It doesn’t take more than a few minutes a week.
What kind of stretches can I do?
There are a lot of articles on the internet giving free instructions; even though it is a “Beach Body” stretching routine, this is a really good routine if you work in a garden or do regular yard work.
Check out this article from Beach Body On Demand. (https://www.beachbodyondemand.com/blog/best-stretching-exercises)