I ditched weightlifting for strenuous stretching and this is what happened to my body

Give stretching exercises a chance and you’ll be surprised at how amazing they can make you feel.
stretching exercises
Stretching can do your body a world of good. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Sonakshi Kohli Updated: 14 Aug 2020, 10:47 am IST
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When it comes to getting a fit, toned body, everyone’s go-to workout plan has got to be weight lifting and strength training. After all, nothing works its charm the way weight training does when it comes to getting all lean and mean.

I too plead guilty of following this norm. But, I also plead guilty of enjoying the body-toning and fat loss benefits of this exercise routine.

However, a few months back, the strength training was turning into a soreness and stiffness causing routine for me. Plus, having practiced weight training for almost two years, boredom and a fitness plateau made me switch to stretching exercises after 30 minutes of heart-thumping cardio instead of lifting weights.

Trust me, it did more good to me than I had ever imagined.

My back pain vanished
Desk work and driving long distances can be a pain in the tailbone. At least it was for me. My back was failing to keep up with my hectic job and schedule. But ever since I started doing stretching exercises, the pain in my lower as well as upper back reduced and eventually vanished. Nope, this isn’t a self-imagined benefit of stretching. A special health report by researchers at the Harvard Medical School also explains how stretching can strengthen the muscles surrounding the backbone and help relieve back pain.

stretching exercises
Back pain? Then start including some simple stretches in your routine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

My body language improved
Who doesn’t like a confident posture with a straight back and upright shoulders? After all, with a great posture comes great, impactful body language. So, just the way a study published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science claimed, stretching helped me improve my posture and alignment and helped me get rid of that lousy slouch.

Mid-day fatigue and headaches became a thing of the past
According to a study published in The Journal of Physiology stretching can improve blood circulation, which in turn can help one stay active throughout the day as well as combat stress effectively. Both of these advantages helped me overcome fatigue and headache. 

My body felt lighter
No one needs any proof to support the fact the stretching exercises can make you more flexible. In fact, I am a living proof of it. Having spent the first quarter of my life waking up with a stiff neck and body almost every day as well as dealing with a post-weightlifting stiffness and soreness of muscles all the time, stretching made my body more agile and I felt lighter than ever.

stretching exercises
Triceps stretches can also tone your arms. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

My fitness plateau broke
A review study from 2013 talks about a rather obvious logic: When we work out a certain way, our body adapts to it and eventually stops responding or giving the desired results. When we change our workout routine, the body gets a shock and then sets off to adapt itself yet again. It is the adaption to this change that helps one break a fitness plateau and reap its body-sculpting benefits

Perhaps, this theory stands true in my case too. Having consistently practiced strength and resistance weight training, my body probably got used to it and I stopped losing weight. Switching to stretching was the change that shocked it enough to yield results and push the weighing machine’s needle towards the left.


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About the Author

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then. ...Read More

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