Stretching To Promote Weight Loss
Stretches and flexibility exercises can help your body move more comfortably, which can increase and encourage overall movement.
By increasing your daily movement you can help balance your energy output and input, which is important for maintaining and reaching a healthy weight.
If you want to read more about the benefits of stretching for weight loss, then keep reading below!
The Benefits Of Stretching For Weight Loss
The good news about flexibility training is that you don’t have to do it for very long or very often in order for you to reap the benefits. Only a few minutes of stretching every day can help improve the range of motion in your joints, while also helping to decrease the risk of injury during exercise and reducing stress.
Consistency is key when it comes to boosting your flexibility, and even just by stretching 2-3 times per week your body will feel better.
Although you won’t necessarily burn a bunch of calories from a short stretch session, your body will function better and your joints will move more comfortably. This can, in turn, improve your weight loss program in a number of ways.
It Can Decrease Stress
Flexibility stretches can help get your blood pumping, but not in a way that will increase your adrenaline. Stretching paired with breathing exercises can help to improve your mood and lower your stress level. This can be particularly helpful to those trying to curb emotional eating habits.
It Can Improve NEAT
NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and it refers to all of your activity throughout the day that is not exercise, such as walking to your car, carrying groceries from the car, vacuuming the house, and other typical movements. Although organised workouts are important, the calories you burn from NEAT can significantly affect the total number of calories you burn each day.
You are more likely to continue moving throughout the day if your limbs and joints feel good. This can then reduce joint stiffness and pain, helping you to stay active.
It Can Perform More Effective Workouts
Strength training and aerobic activity for weight loss are more effective when you perform each workout fully. Stretching will help keep your body in tip-top shape so that you can burn more calories during workouts, and spend less time recovering from soreness and injuries.
By increasing your range of motion you can activate more muscle fibres during your resistance training workout. This activation has the ability to boost metabolically active muscle mass.
Sample Stretching Routine
You can perform simple stretches when you get out of bed each morning, or before you go to bed in the evening. You can even do it right after you’ve done a cardio strength training workout.
These stretches can help you loosen up your joints and start your day with healthy movement.
Full Body Roll
This stretch will increase your spinal and hamstring mobility and flexibility.
How To ‘Full Body Roll’:
- Stand tall and reach your arms towards the roof.
- Relax the arms and roll the spine down.
- Allow your arms to relax towards the floor.
- Keep your knees bent to protect your back.
- Hold this position (while continuing to breathe) for 10-20 seconds.
- Slowly roll back up and repeat.
Also known as a seated butterfly, is a great way to stretch out your inner thighs and improve posture. This is one of the most common ways to build flexibility and loosen up the legs.
How To ‘Butterfly Stretch’:
- Sit on the floor with the palms of your feet together. Straighten your back.
- Lay your hands on top of your feet.
- Lean forward from your hips. Gently push your elbows against your thighs.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat 2 to 4 times.
Standing Quad Stretch
The standing quad stretch is such a great stretch as you can perform it anywhere. If you can find a place to stand, you can do the standing quad stretch.
How To ‘Standing Quad Stretch’:
- From a standing position, hold onto a countertop or chair to assist with stability.
- Bend your knee by grabbing your left ankle with your left hand, moving your foot towards your butt.
- Slowly pull on your ankle to bend your knee as far as possible.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Return to standing position.
- Repeat 3-5 times on each leg.
It wouldn’t be a stretching blog without mentioning our favourite, the cat-cow pose! This is such a simple yet effective stretch that will increase circulation and give a nice stretch in your back.
How To ‘Cat-Cow Pose’:
- Start on all fours, while keeping your feet flat.
- Keep your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.
- As you take a breath in, drop your stomach, let your back arch and look slightly up.
- As you exhale, push your hands into the ground and round your back up (like a cat).
- Continue arching with inhales and rounding with exhales.
Child’s pose can release the tension in your back and shoulders as it gently stretches the hips and has an overall soothing effect on the mind.
How To ‘Child’s Pose’:
- Begin kneeling down with your big toes touching one another and your knees hip-width apart.
- As you breathe out, lower your torso between your knees, extending your arms alongside your torso with the palms facing down.
- Relax your shoulders towards the ground.
- You will feel a nice stretch down your spine.
- Rest for as long as you’d like
You can also read our blog about Stetches to Improve Sleep here.