Why Is Stretching So Important?
Stretching helps keep your muscles strong, flexible and healthy. Flexibility and strength are necessary to sustain a normal range of motion at the joints. Without this, your muscles will become very tight and even diminish in length. Then, when you need to use your muscles for demanding activities, they won’t be strong enough to extend fully.
What Are the Benefits of Daily Stretching?
Even if you’re not an athlete or runner, making stretching a routine will benefit you in different ways.
Greater Vigor During the Day
If you usually feel lethargic in the afternoon, a brief stretch can wake you up and put away the sluggishness. Stretching will increase the flow of blood to all muscles of your body and vital organs like your brain and spinal cord. This will help you become more alert and invigorated.
Prevention of Injury
A study was conducted on 42 students to determine whether stretching would affect their ability to balance on a “stabilometer.” Those who spent half an hour stretching before going on the machine were able to maintain their balance for a longer period than those who sat still before coming on board. Stretching helps you improve your muscle coordination, which in turn helps you avoid tripping and falling.
Effective Pain Relief
If you stretch the correct way for about 20 minutes daily, you’ll reduce the stiffness in your muscles and joints. This means you should be careful when stretching and holding your posture for a long time. Instead, you should concentrate on doing some range-of-motion exercises such as knee lifts, wrist bends and shoulder shrugs. Your stretching should help your muscles increase their range of motion.
Promotes Relaxation and Enthusiasm
People who have frequent increases in stress levels will also have contracted muscles. These contracted muscles will also cause a tense feeling and make them feel uneasy.
So, when you start feeling tense, you need to do some stretching to increase blood flow and relieve muscle tension. When you do this, you’ll also help the body release endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel happier and more relaxed. This is one of the greatest benefits of stretching in the morning and stretching just before going to sleep at night.
Control Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Exercise is a proven way to balance your blood sugar. But before you put on your jogging shoes and go out to run, you can experience this benefit in the comfort of your room. A study of diabetic adults found that those who stretched for about 40 minutes after drinking a beverage with sugar in it had lower blood sugar than those who didn’t stretch their muscles properly.
Similarly, stretching can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood. This will, in turn, prevent the hardening of arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease.
How to Enjoy the Benefits of Stretching
The following tips can help you keep stretching safe:
- Don’t stretch cold muscles. Warm up first or stretch after your workout.
- Strive to have even flexibility on each side of your body.
- Stretch major muscle groups, including your hips, thighs, calves, lower back, shoulders and neck.
- Stretch in an even or smooth movement.
- Be cautious when holding your stretch. Thirty seconds is enough in most cases.
- Avoid pain. Tension is okay, but pain is not okay when stretching.
- Stretch daily at certain fixed times to enjoy the full benefits of stretching.
Those are some of the major advantages of maintaining a daily stretching routine. By applying the simple tips we’ve provided, you should be able to start enjoying a healthier, more relaxed and productive lifestyle. Contact us to learn more today.
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