Stretching is Relaxing by Stan Wasbin, M.D.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” True enough regarding our brain; but, can the same be said of our skeletal muscles?
The benefits of stretching are well known. Stretching a muscle results in a temporary increase in blood flow to that organ. Recognizing that optimal blood supply is a key component of wound healing in general, we can appreciate that enhanced blood flow to an injured muscle will assist in repair.
Furthermore, stretching plays an even larger role in maintaining muscle and tendon health, and in preventing injuries. A regular fitness program that includes stretching often results in increased flexibility and athletic performance. Moreover, stretching has not yet been banned in most municipalities in California (though certain poses may require a permit).
The American College of Sports Medicine offers helpful guidelines:
— Always precede stretching by an active warm-up.
— Stretch 3 days per week.
— Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, and repeat 2-4 times.
— And, while stretching, never bounce.
To learn more about the benefits of stretching, consider attending a Stretch with Your Doctor class held every Thursday 10:00-11:00 am at our clinic in Aliso Viejo. Just bring a mat, and by participating in a friendly one-hour session of stretching, relaxation and a little yoga, you will enjoy a calming reprieve from the stress of life. The first class is free, and if you are lucky, you may even learn the answer to the above question.The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.