How stretching daily can help boost your weight-loss
Stretching is one of the most beneficial morning and pre-workout activities that you can do, not only to stay fit but actually to lose weight. In today’s blog post, I will explain how you can set yourself up for weight-loss success by incorporating your daily stretching routine. Moreover, I will not go into details of how to stretch; many books on stretching do a pretty good job explaining that.
While stretching, you are also burning calories. You can’t expect to burn many calories, of course, but still, it counts. On average, a person burns 80-120 calories for every 30 minutes of stretching. As a comparison, sitting for 30 minutes will burn approximately 35-50 calories.
Besides, stretching brings many other benefits when trying to lose weight, reducing your muscle tensions, increasing blood circulation (As the blood circulates, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells) and boosting your energy levels.
When trying to lose weight, incorporating a daily stretching routine into your life will benefit you greatly.
Daily stretching will help you:
- Alleviate your stress and bring your mind and body into calmness. It will help you start your day right and give you the necessary energy.
- Be more confident.
- Reduce any pain or soreness in your body you might have accumulated after your last workout.
We advise you to incorporate two timed stretches when embarking on your weight-loss journey: morning stretch and pre-workout stretch.
Stretching first thing in the morning has the potential to relieve any tension or pain you may have experienced from sleeping the night before. This type of morning stretch ideally should be done just after you wake up in the morning for a max of 5 minutes.
You will be using a passive-static-stretch method. This method instructs you to stretch one muscle group at a time and stretch so until you feel the tension and then hold it for a specific period.
There is a big difference between a morning stretch and a pre-workout stretch after an active warm-up.
There are a couple of helpful static stretches that you can do just after you wake up. For example:
- Hugging a tree back stretch.
- Chest stretch.
- Standing forward bend.
- Cobra pose.
- Extended puppy pose.
- Cat-cow stretch
Effectively, the morning stretch serves as a starter to your day. The stretches in the morning should only be performed with 1 set stretch-hold.
So select up to five stretches that target the entire musculature. The whole morning stretch should last max five minutes.
A pre-workout stretch
A pre-workout stretch is a whole different type of stretch. It differs significantly from the morning stretch. While morning stretch is more general, light and just an intro to your day, the pre-workout stretch is a preparatory specific stretch routine for your weight-loss programme.
When planning to stretch for a workout, you should never do your stretching routine before warming up.
Some people mix stretching with warming up. Stretching is not warming up, but it’s a very important part of stretching. Your personalised weight-loss programme will always have some type of general warm-up.
According to National Library of Medicine, warm-up intensity should gradually build until it is sufficient to cause mild perspiration and increase breathing rate without fatigue. In other words, it should build progressively towards 60- 70 % of VO2max. Lastly, it’s recommended that the warm-up should not exceed 10 minutes due to the possibility of decreasing muscle glycogen.
After you complete your general warm-up, your muscles will be warmer, elastic and now prepared for a pre-workout stretch.
Here is some general guidance for a pre-workout stretch:
- For beginners who want to lose weight and are engaged in a full-body workout, stretching of every target muscle used in the main session is advised.
- Suppose you are an intermediate-advanced training practitioner and engaged in a split workout routine. In that case, it’s appropriate to stretch only the muscles that will be used in the main training session.
- A mix of active and passive static stretches is very much suited for beginners.
An effective weight-loss programme needs to be carefully tailored to an individual, and the stretching section should consider the individual’s injury history.
Stretching alone will not help you lose weight. The mix of stretching, cardio and resistance training will.
The purpose of daily stretching (morning stretch) is to put you in the right mindset for the rest of your day. It’s more general than specific. Moreover, the goal is to relax your body, alleviate any pain or stress and give you the energy for the day.
On the contrary, the pre-workout stretch prepares you for your personalised weight-loss programme. It’s more specific and tailored for the workout you are about to do.
Until next time,
Damir Pervan, Founder and CEO of TrainChampion | Online weight-loss platform