10 Exceptional reasons to take the time to treat yourself!
Stretching and self-treatment is not on the top of most people To Do lists. Let’s be honest when you’re busy, stressed, or running short of time it’s first thing to go.
Yet the next time you are thinking of giving self-treatment the flick keep these in mind!
Save money! The more you stretch, trigger, do yoga and/or foam roller the more you decrease your chances of getting an injury or pain. That means fewer trips to the clinic and more money to spend on the fun stuff!
Increase your performance: You need maximum muscle length to ensure you perform at your best in sports like rowing, swimming ,cycling and running. The more you stretch and self treat the better you’ll go!
Increase your strength: Flexibility through your hips and knees enables you to get into a better position to be able to do exercises such as squats. Being in a stronger position can enable you to load up the weight more without injuring yourself.
Make you faster: A study in 2000 reported that elite athletes miss 1 in every 5 sessions due to injury, fatigue and sickness. The fewer injuries you have and the better you recover, the less time you have away from your sport. This can mean that you make improvements faster and help to achieve your sporting goals. (Phillips)
Enhance your performance at work: High stress levels can decrease a person’s ability to function effectively and perform at their best. Stretching and yoga are great for distressing & relaxation. Particularly when it is coupled with deep breathing exercises. (Achor, S 2010)
Decrease injury: Stretching and self-treatment techniques ensure that you stay flexible and your muscles stay lengthened. Good muscle length decreases the chances of getting injuries, which can take you away from doing activities you enjoy. (Brukner & Khan 2012)
Decrease your pain: Tight shoulder muscles can give you headaches and tight gluts, hip flexors and quads can give you back pain. Trigger, foam roller or stretch these out and you can decrease your pain or tightness.
Get smarter! Did you know there are also links between good posture (in particular sitting with a straight back) and a higher level of brain function?
Concentrate more: Stretching allows you to hold good posture for longer. Slouching/ bad posture will decrease the ability of your lungs to expand. This in turn can lead to decreased oxygen in the body and brain which, is necessary for good brain function and concentration.
Increase your circulation: Tight muscles have a lower blood flow as the muscle fibers constrict the blood vessels. Stretch these fibers out and in turn allow blood to flow more easily into the muscle. This helps with muscle repair and allows more oxygenated blood into the muscle for energy production. (Alter 2004)
Kinsey Gorman C (2008) The Nonverbal Advantage – Secrets and science of body language at work; Berrett-Koehler Publishers; San Francisco.
Alter, M (2004) Science of Flexibility 3rd Ed; Sheridan Books, United States of America
Brukner, P & Khan, K (2012) Clinical Sports Medicine 4th Ed; McGraw Hill, Sydney.
Phillips (2000) Sport Injury Incidence BrJ Sports Med 2000, 34: 133 136
Achor, S (2010) The Happiness Advantage Virgin Books.