Like most things, dads come in a variety of shapes, sizes and abilities. Some dads may be a bit out of shape; others may still play sports, hit the gym and volunteer for their kids’ sports teams. But regardless of what type of shape they’re in, all dads are probably guilty of performing all kinds of physical activities without taking proper care of their muscles so stretching is important – even for the do-it-all dads.
How many times have you seen dads start swinging hammers, digging with shovels, climbing ladders and reaching across eaves troughs, joining in that street hockey game or haul furniture around? How many dads work at a job that is physically demanding, requiring them to bend, reach, and lift heavy objects? Whether it’s at home or on the job, dads should make sure they stretch before they perform any physical activity.
Why, you ask? Stretching improves overall flexibility and also decreases any risk of injury. It increases blood flow to the muscles and although it won’t prevent soreness after you’ve exerted your muscles, the increase in flexibility and range of motion will allow your body to move optimally.
Dads (and everyone else, too) should stretch a couple of times each day (everyday!) in order to benefit from the most improvement and, in turn, the greatest amount of flexibility. Here are some stretches for you to work into your daily routine:
Dynamic Stretches move a group of muscles through a continuous range of motion, utilizing momentum to push slightly past where one’s regular range of motion would stop. These include arm circles, leg swings and jumping jacks. These should be done before starting a workout or other physical activity to warm up your muscles, lubricate your joints and let your body know you’re going to be using it. While performing the stretches, focus on the muscles that are being used during the activity to get the most benefit.[/ut_two_thirds] [ut_one_third_last]
Static Stretches extend a particular muscle and hold it in place for 10-30 seconds. This type of stretching will cause muscle fatigue, so they are best done at the end of a workout or after performing any physical activity, while your muscles are still warm and limber.[/ut_two_thirds_last]
With Father’s Day approaching, let’s remind our dads that they need to take proper care of themselves, and that includes taking care of the bodies they use to perform so many important tasks each and everyday. They may think it’s too late, but it isn’t.
“It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.”
– Alexandra Elle