You’ve got workdays, birthdays, holidays and rest-days, but do you have a stretch-day? That is, a day dedicated solely to the rejuvenation of your joints, because time has a way of creeping up on us and stealing our youth. What if I were to tell you absolution can be found simply through stretching? As Dr. Seuss would say, it’s truer than true! So, recline the chair, kick your feet up, and read about the six health benefits of stretching!
#1: Reduce risk (of pain and/or injury). As you condition your body through stretching your muscles will be loosening and lengthening, which will help to protect against injuries. While exercising, the joints experience different range of motion. Stretching can help to avoid any tears, strains, or troubles by allowing your body to bend further and more easily.
#2: De-stress. When your body or mind are stressed, your muscles can stiffen up. Stretching works to relieve tension in the muscles that result from stress. It’s as simple as this: if you’re feeling stressed, stretch those joints for alleviation!
#3: Enhance mobility. Age can take a toll on our muscles and joints. The older we become, the tighter our muscles and joints become. We can fight this aging by stretching often, so our everyday activities become more and more accessible.
#4: Improve circulation. When you engage in physical activity, the blood vessels in your muscles dilate, which creates a greater blood flow. This greater blood flow allows for more oxygenated blood to get to the working muscle. Stretching improves this circulation process (blood reaching the muscles and joints). The greater the circulation, the more nutrients and oxygen can nourish your working muscles.
#5: Greater balance. As you stretch more frequently, the range of motion in your joints will increase. When your range of motion increases, the body is better able to maintain a centered ground during exercise or various positions.
#6: Increase performance. Stretching has a multitude of positive health effects from improved energy levels to better balance. When stretching is used to reduce stress, your joints are relaxed and ready to work. From consistent stretching, greater flexibility, increased blood circulation, and better balance result, which make movements during exercise more fluid. Just to recap, through regular stretching you can improve your overall fitness performance!
What are you waiting for? Stretch your body to even better health!
Take-a-way fact: It is best to stretch either during or post-workout while your muscles are warm to avoid any injuries! Stay tuned for the upcoming blog about why cold stretching can be detrimental to your health!
By: Rebecca Nathan