Stretching and Flexibility
for Weight Loss
If you carry extra pounds, stretching is a great way to improve flexibility and and ease the strain of muscular tension. It doesn't have to be a drain and strain activity. Stretching can actually feel good once you get used to it and keep it up on a regular basis.
Even large bodies can benefit from stretching. Although you may not be able to twist and bend into every position possible, stretching can easily be adapted to moves you are able to do now. You can gradually work your way up to more intense bending and stretching until your body responds to the frequent toning exercise. Soon you will feel the benefit in your back, joints and muscles.
Stretching alone is not the best thing for burning fat, but it works very well for toning muscles and promoting healthy joints. Because increased muscle tone helps burn calories more efficiently, stretching is conducive to boosting your metabolism. Calories are burned most efficiently by toned muscle.
Stretching Revs Circulation
Stretching also helps improve circulation by providing more oxygen to the cells and increases metabolism which in turn will make you less fatigued. Regular stretching, followed by cardio, will increase your energy level and help clear your mind as well.
Stretching is an excellent exercise to increase and sustain flexibility. Extra weight and the aging process can diminish range of movement and slowly we unconsciously adjust regular daily movement to adapt to this loss of flexibility. Squatting and bending down become more difficult and can cause limited movement and stiffening of the joints.
Stretching or Yoga?
Stretching is a great forerunner to Yoga. However, you don't have to go from simple stretching exercises to the more advanced technique of Yoga unless you feel ready to try something a little more disciplined and structured.
A great stretching/yoga video is Megan Garcia's Just My Size Yoga. The movements are presented simply and clearly with an understanding of limitations due to size and shape. She will introduce you to the many benefits of yoga such as energy and flexibility and also the calm and confidence you achieve as stretching becomes a part of your routine. She demonstrates the use of props, such as the wall, chairs, and blocks for those who need the ultimate in easiness to get started.
For many who are new to exercise, stretching is a great place to start for warming up and toning your muscles.
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