When a muscle feels tight — whether it’s because you’ve charged into a new activity, performed repetitive movement patterns, or settled into sedentary postures — you instinctively stretch it out. This might feel great in the moment, but the effect is usually fleeting.
Sure, it’s tempting to just put on a big sunhat, find a spot in the shade, and lounge all day, but hey, the summer heat is really no good excuse for a sedentary life. In fact, it’s the perfect time to get outside – the days are longer, work is (mostly) a little less hectic, and weekends out of town are loaded with opportunity!
For the last 16 or so months, all those hundreds of daily, small postural compromises we’ve unconsciously made while being tethered to computers and devices, have taken a toll. These folded over, rolled and forward-jutting body shapes we’ve assumed —sometimes for hours at a time—got repeated over and over, until they started pulling millions of spines out of alignment.
The result? Structural issues like back pain and hip imbalances which have triggered problems body-wide – and hardly the recipe for a productive day at the (home) office.
One of the keys to having an efficient metabolism (which we all want, right!?), improving posture, and reducing pain and stress is by making sure your body is in correct alignment. So where do you begin to achieve proper body alignment? It all starts with fascia - also known as connective tissue.
Illness is just one reason you might fall off the fitness wagon. Injury; surgery; postpartum recovery; a major life event, such as a divorce or death; a consuming work project; or simply losing interest in an exercise routine can all disrupt your trajectory. And while the world may be chanting, “No excuses!” the reality is that life is full of ups and downs and pauses and resets.
Popular wisdom says stretching doesn’t build muscle, burn fat, or shave time off a 5K. As a result, many of us shortchange or skip the practice altogether in our workouts. But according to many fitness experts, popular wisdom is wrong —and we’re missing out on its benefits. Stretching has been shown to help prevent injury, heal old hurts, improve range of motion, reduce muscle tightness and imbalance, and improve athletic performance. In fact, it’s so important to overall fitness that it’s not something to approach haphazardly.