Stretching Classes: Are They Really Worth It?
Exercise and stretching go hand-in-hand. Exercise, when followed by stretching, increases the flexibility of your muscles, and even relieves you of pain. Also, a simple exercise isn’t enough, since inflexibility may cause excessive fatigue over time. One must, therefore, wonder about the significance of simply stretching classes, especially when there is a plethora of yoga classes widely available, and at a lower price. Are these stretching classes simply yet another fad, or do they offer more than good-old flexibility?
- Yoga versus Stretching Classes—while yoga too is functional in increasing body flexibility, it fails to relax all the muscles in the body. In a stretching class, the stretch trainer guides you in such a way that all your muscles will be relaxed, even the rare ones. Also, relaxing the muscles isn’t as easy as it sounds, one must follow a particular routine step-by-step to isolate them and then relax. What is noteworthy is the personal training and guidance which you receive during these classes, which are much more effective, being tailored for the benefit of your body.
- Locates the areas which need to be stretched—while stretching has its advantages, we often fail to realise which muscles need to be stretched. It is, therefore, essential to be guided by somehow, especially a trainer, who is well aware of how the muscles function, and which ones need stretching. Especially since, stretching, when done wrong, may cause more harm than good. These stretching classes can be very location specific as well. For instance, some types might target only the carpal tunnel syndrome, while others relieve shoulder and neck pain, and some directly aim at strengthening and lengthening the muscles.
- The remedy for pain—stretching breaks down the muscle knots, and adhesions which cause chronic pain, and also increases blood circulation which helps in the breakdown of these pain-causing knots.
- Benefits of stretching—As it has been mentioned before, stretching increases muscle and joint flexibility and mobility. It also enhances blood circulation which not only reduces pain, but also detoxifies the body, and acts as a stress buster. Moreover, stretching also improves motor functions, along with body balance.
- Releases tension—Stretching releases tension from your muscles and joints which is important since we spend a lot of time just sitting or standing. Throughout the day our muscles contract and expand for us to be mobile, however, following the same routine, and assuming the same postures every day puts pressure on the muscles, joints, nerves and bones. This pressure creates tension which over the time causes chronic pain, and must be, therefore, released through stretching, and massages. The stretching classes combine massages with dancers’ warm-ups in one to relieve the muscles of the tension, tone them, and increase their mobility.
- Combats diabetes—stretching keeps the glucose level in the body under control. 40 minutes of regular stretching works wonders if you have diabetes.
- Three for the price of one—These one-on-one stretching classes, therefore, double as therapy, and yoga by providing the benefits of both. The whole process of stretching is very relaxing, and therefore, doubles as therapy; and it uses a lot of movements and postures of yoga, and therefore, serves the function of yoga as well. Also, the fact that the trainer is personally adjusting your exercise and assessing your muscles’ and bones’ needs is right since we are all laymen when it comes to stretching, so we don’t know how much stretching is good for us, or how far should we go, because too much of a good thing can also be wrong.
- Take it slow—Slow movements are beneficial for our body as well. In our fast-paced lives, slow relaxing movements are hard to come by. Slowly stretching your muscles will not only increase your flexibility but will also reduce the tension on your muscles, which will reduce your chances of joint pain and diseases, and muscle pain.
- Allure of flexibility—Having said and done everything, the allure of flexibility, the ability to do more than only touch your toes, to be able to contort your bodies into poses beyond your imagination is undeniable.
- Money matters—The biggest con of stretching classes is that they involve a lot of money; over $100 for an hour of stretching sessions.
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