Like many people, when it comes to cutting corners on my exercise routine, it will be stretching. I can get in the ride on the bike, the spin class and pump the iron – but when pressed for time or just wanting to get extra time in the steam room, I will cheat on stretching my muscles. I have been wondering just how long is an optimal stretch – or when too short wasn’t worth the time at all, and started asking exercise physiologists and looking in the books and on-line. of course, the time recommendations are all over the place, but I found one that I thought was worth sharing.
According to Michael Gerrish, author of When Working Out Isn’t Working Out, a study that was reported in a physical therapy journal revealed that about 30 seconds is the best time to hold a stretch. 57 participants who took part in a 6 week study found that holding a stretch for less time produced less effective results. They also discovered that when a stretch was held for 60 seconds, it helped no more than holding a stretch for half that amount of time. By holding your stretches for more (or less) time, you can see for yourself what works best. You may find some of your muscle groups need a longer, more thorough stretch.
I usually stretch close to a minute on each muscle group and I have found it an excellent time to use self hypnosis, especially when I am seated or laying on the floor. I do on occasion use hypnosis while I am standing and stretching an arm, my back or my chest, but I have to be careful to not fall over because I am relaxed. Since I exercise early in the morning, it gives me several opportunities to use hypnosis to focus on my day. I have also just started to use hypnotherapy to increase the importance of stretching to me.
So make sure that you are stretching to increase your range of motion – even if it’s only for 30 seconds.
Speaking of exercise, did you read Cathy?
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I give my body the gift of stretching!