People are making housecalls to provide stretching sessions, and other apps offer streaming services that help you stretch from the comfort of your home
Stretched for time? You can fit this type of fitness in anytime.
For some people, going to yoga or pilates is more than a just conduit to get in shape — it provides an escape, social interaction and a sense of community. But for those who are strictly focused on getting more flexible — or would rather not have an audience while doing splits — there’s an app for that.
This month, REME, which stands for Regarding Me, has added an on-demand stretch therapy service to its menu of in-home services. That’s right, L.A. just got even more L.A.: You can now essentially order a highly qualified expert to come to your house and spend 45-minutes providing a one-on-one stretching session for $65. Another nationwide app called Zeel offers 60-, 75- and 90-minute in-home sports massages that combine deep tissue massage and assisted stretching.
REME experts customize stretch techniques to individual needs, and Anita Jennison, VP at REME, tells Moneyish, “I personally describe it as yoga on crack. The expert will move and stretch your body in ways you cannot do on your own, targeting areas for release that you likely have never felt before.” And while she says it’s important to do stand-alone stretching, Jennison promotes assisted stretching, officially known as fascial stretch therapy, because it increases mobility and significantly reduces tension, aches and pains that result in injury.
Aside from feeling nice and sometimes even massage-like, being more flexible has some notable health benefits. Fitness Magazine indicates that stretching primes muscles for exercise, improves posture and exercise form, eases back pain, prevents injury, boosts joint health, reduces stress and aids in better sleep. But before beginning a stretching regimen, the Mayo Clinic offers these tips to ensure safe stretching.
Don’t consider stretching a warm-up. Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, so it’s best to begin with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for 5-10 minutes.
Strive for symmetry. Flexibility is a genetic trait, so instead of aiming to emulate a gymnast, focus on having equal flexibility side to side.
Focus on major muscle groups. Stretch muscles and joints that you use routinely and concentrate on muscle groups like calves, thighs and lower back.
Don’t bounce, do hold your stretch. Stretch in a smooth movement while breathing normally and holding each stretch for about 30 seconds.
Don’t aim for pain. The saying “No pain no gain” doesn’t hold true when it comes to your muscles and ligaments. While it’s normal to feel some tension, avoid painful stretching that might indicate you’ve pushed too far.
And if you truly want to stretch by yourself, but still crave the guidance of a professional, the live streaming on-the-go fitness platform Obé might be just the answer to your limber prayers. The company streams six to eight hours of live, 28-minute long classes every morning, including sessions called Sweat, Define and Flow which all incorporate stretching. The classes don’t require any equipment, and a monthly membership costs $27 per month for unlimited classes.
Mark Mullett, co-founder of Obé, tells Moneyish that he believes flexibility, recovery exercises and finding calm are vital for a well-rounded fitness regimen. “Our members love our live yoga offering, as well as the shorter form stretch and yoga classes that we offer in our Express library. We’ve found that our members are stretching during the day at their desks and taking that essential “me time,”” says Mullett.
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