Armstrong Podiatry & Sports Health's Blog

Information that promotes wellness

Stretching: Vital to health

I had the opportunity to meet some members of the community where my office is located earlier this month.  I really enjoyed talking to them about certain foot problems and ways to stay healthy.  My talk was quite popular; it was called, “Stretching is for Everyone”.  Here is a summary of my talk.  I hope to give this whole topic a full explanation, along with a potential e-book in the future.  For now, enjoy!

 

WHY DO WE STRETCH?

WHAT DO WE STRETCH?

HOW DO WE STRETCH?

 

WHY?

 

 

 

 

WE ARE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER!

 

 

The elasticity of connective tissue fibers (tendons, fascia, muscles) tend to deteriorate and shorten

This tendency is accelerated by inactivity (IF YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU LOSE IT)

 

 

 

 

 

This shortening will:

Change the way you stand (posture)

Change the way you move (stride length)

Change the energy you have (decrease circulation to tense muscle)

Change your overall health (elevate your blood pressure)

 

 

 

WHAT?

 

NORMAL VS. ABNORMAL POSTURE

Abnormal posture is typical of Western society due to sedentary lifestyle and poor choice of shoegear

 

 

 

 

 

OUR SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

Causes our hamstring muscles to tighten because we sit on them all day!

This can lead to a posture called lordosis

 

 

 

 

 

OUR POOR CHOICE OF SHOEGEAR

Majority of our shoes has a heel elevation

If you wear them long enough, you will get a tight, shortened Achilles tendon complex

 

If you don’t use it, you lose it!

 

Practically everyone has a tight Achilles tendon complex

 

 

 

Can lead to bunions and hammertoes

Can lead to tightening and contracture of hip flexor muscles

 

 

 

 

THE 3 MUSCLE GROUPS I BELIEVE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TO STRETCH IN THE LOWER EXTREMITY:

Achilles tendon complex

Hip flexors

Hamstrings

 

 

HOW?

 

Goal of stretching is to restore muscle to their normal length and beyond

Gentle stretching is the most effective way: 30-40% of maximum perceived stretch OR until you feel the tension disappear

Aim for about 60 seconds of stretching three times for each muscle group

 

Can be done anytime; suggest in the morning and again at night

No warm up necessary (Isn’t body temperature warm enough for your muscles?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 2, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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