What do you do when you get up in the morning? Many of us head for the coffee maker first thing, then plop down on the sofa with a cup of joe and some social media scrolling or email checking. But there’s a better way!
Stretching: it’s not just for warming up before a jog anymore. The truth is, stretching is actually more beneficial to your health than many of us previously thought. Lori and Kenny Gordon, owners of Stretch Zone in Birmingham, are tried-and-true believers who loved the experience of Stretch Zone so much themselves, they decided to buy the business. Now they’re busily sharing the wonders of a great stretch with the Magic City. Here are their favorite reasons for making an appointment to see what the fuss is about.
Stretching can improve mobility and performance.
Mobility is important for everyone, and stretching can mean the difference between enjoying an evening of dancing and staying put on the couch.
“If you find it hard to perform normal daily activities — especially if you could do them before — that is where we specialize,” said Kenny Gordon. “The whole Stretch Zone concept started with the founder stretching his grandfather, who was confined to a walker. After a period of time, he was able to see his grandfather dance at his cousin’s wedding — hence his ‘eureka’ moment.
Even athletes can improve their performance with regular stretching, according to the Gordons. Golfers have found that their swings improve, for example, and young athletes are catching on, visiting Stretch Zone to enhance their seasons.
Stretching is healthy for men and women of all ages.
Men and women of all ages can benefit from a nice stretch. In fact, the Gordons said they have no “typical” client at Stretch Zone. Clients range in age from about 15 to well over 65, and are split almost down the middle — 55% men and 45% women.
“Our clientele includes everyone from athletes and chronic pain sufferers to those who sit behind their desks or drive their cars a lot,” the couple explained.
Stretching helps with conditions such as plantar fasciitis and sciatica.
Here’s something you might not know about stretching: it can help with painful conditions in the body. Plantar fasciitis, a condition where the tissue along the bottom of the foot is frequently inflamed, is improved by stretching, as is sciatica, a condition that causes pain in the lower back.
“I have plantar fasciitis, and stretching has helped more than anything,” Lori Gordon shared. “If you have any discomfort or pain, this could work for you. And when people feel the difference after being on the table, the Stretch Zone Method sells itself!”
Regular stretching can make the most of other health routines.
For folks who already visit the chiropractor or massage therapist, take heart: regular stretching will only improve the results. The Gordons pointed out that chiropractic, which focuses on the body’s bones, will work in tandem with stretching, which works on muscles. Even massage therapy, meant for relaxation, will be better yet if muscles are already loosened.
Stretching feels good!
Nervous that stretching from a professional might hurt? Don’t be. The Gordons and their trained practitioners understand each individual client’s needs.
“Because people have different tolerances and range of motion, we strive to know how they feel,” said Lori. “The first stretch is a complimentary demo stretch. We assess how tight or flexible you are for different muscles. After the warmup, a protocol is selected, and the practitioner and client communicate about the scale. A seven is a deep yet painless stretch, which is ideal.”