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Are you stretching enough?

How daily stretches are helping Gen Z

Are you stretching enough? How daily stretches are helping Gen Z

Pause what you’re doing right now. How are you sitting? Are your shoulders hunched over, and is your back curved into a beautiful C-shaped position? If yes, you might be one of the victims of the modern age of technology. That’s right, that back-breaking labor from the comfort of your desk, slumped over a laptop, is literally breaking your back. According to Yale Medicine, "sitting can also lead to overall deconditioning, early muscle fatigue, weakened core stabilizers, and tightening of the hip flexors, resulting in increased stress on your lower back and reduced spine flexibility." Lovely, isn’t it? 

Gen Z and stretching: a TikTok love story

Gen Z, also known as the wellness generation, and the generation who generally rebels against the status quo, have done it again in an attempt to fight inflexibility. On TikTok, stretch-fluencers are popping up who create content specifically to help others with their mobility. One such influencer is MovementByDavid. He creates bite-sized content demonstrating different poses you can do for a few minutes a day to alleviate some of that back pain. It used to be that posture was taught in schools many decades ago. However, now, posture is something that most have completely forgotten or were never taught. So, as an adult trying to get their posture in a better place or regain some lost mobility, it’s difficult, and that is why accounts like David's are so important. 

@movementbydavid Hamstring stretch! #stayflexy #onthisday original sound - MovementbyDavid

The benefits of stretching

The benefits of daily stretching are numerous, including improved performance in physical activities, a decreased risk of injuries, better joint mobility, increased blood flow, and so much more that can lower your risk of deconditioning, muscle fatigue, and overall joint pain, muscle stiffness, and inflexibility. But before you dive right into the world of stretching, you need to keep a few things in mind so you don’t pull a muscle.

@release_technique Stretch it on the sly. #stretching #hamstringstretch #hipstretch #lowbackstretch #foamrollingselfcare original sound - Maggie | DIY Deep Tissue

How to stretch: tips and warnings

  • Be sure to stretch both sides of your body evenly. While you won’t be lopsided if you don’t, it will put unnecessary strain on one half of your body as it overcompensates for the other.
  • Hold your stretch for at least 60 seconds. Holding a stretch for a longer period of time will allow for your muscles to hit deep relaxation and release.
  • Don’t hurt yourself. If the stretch causes you pain, you might be stretching too far and could be doing more harm than good.
  • Stay consistent. Stretching once every now and then isn’t going to give you the results you want. Make it a part of your daily routine and keep up with it to see results.
  • Move through the stretch. Stretching doesn’t need to be static. Add a little movement to it through small pulses.
  • Breathe through it. While not scientifically proven to help with stretching, as you breathe through a stretch, you bring air into your body, helping you move deeper into a stretch

@hellobojja Replying to @Luckymila this one isn’t for the faint of heart but I am feeling sooo much better. #hellobojja #fyp #dailystretch #tensionrelease #backpainrelief original sound - bojja | stretch with me

Let's stretch!

With these few tips, you can not only improve your overall mobility, but you can increase flexibility and fight back against the sedentary lifestyle we currently lead in our desk jobs. Because in our hyper-digital age, where we spend most days slumped over our laptops or phones, our long-forgotten posture is becoming even more important.