Although the benefits of exercising daily are plenty and well known, regular stretching is not as well publicized but has the same level of importance. Including regular stretching into your daily exercise or even as a part of your daily routine is of equal importance to your body function and achieving a healthy lifestyle as exercising regularly.
Benefits of Stretching For A Healthier Lifestyle
Stretching and Benefits For Your Body
Stretching will help improve your flexibility and increase the range of motion of your body. If you muscles become tighter over time, this will affect your range of motion. This decrease in flexibility can make your movements less fluid and slower, putting you at greater risk of getting soft tissue injuries such as straining your muscles. This can affect your lifestyle and quality of life if you like to be active, as well as affecting your day-to-day activities. By improving your flexibility you will also improve your coordination and your balance.
Improving your posture is another benefit of stretching. Since tense and chronically tight muscles add to having poor posture, stretching will help improve this by lengthening muscles which are tight and helping move the body (especially the spine) back into a better aligned position.
Stretching also helps improve recovery from exercise, by improving blood flow to the muscles. Greater nutrient supplies to the muscle area can be transported because of this blood flow, helping muscle soreness and speeding up recovery of joint and muscle injuries.
Stretching And Stress Relief
The buildup of stress in the body can be made worse by tense muscles. To release the tension in your body, include stretching as part of your daily routine. Even just a short amount of time (for example 10 to 15 minutes) can help you calm your mind and give you a mental break from the day.
Tips for Stretching
You MUST Warm Up
If you want to improve the range of motion of your body and help avoid injury stretching is important, however, you should never stretch when your muscles are cold. Start with a moderate paced aerobic warm-up to get the blood flowing to your muscle tissue. Warm up exercises could include a light jog or a brisk walk.
Do Dynamic Stretching Instead of Static Stretching
When compared with static stretching, dynamic stretching involves controlled, slow movements instead of the holding of still positions of static stretching. As an example the movements found in yoga could count as dynamic stretching. This could include leg kicks, arm circles and twisting the torso. It is important however to do dynamic stretching exercises with proper form as they will can cause injury if performed incorrectly.
Try Doing Yoga
As mentioned earlier yoga can produce the similar effects of dynamic stretching. Yoga will help you to develop both flexibility and strength as well as reducing pain in the body from areas like the head, back and neck.
Do Static stretching AFTER your exercise
After performing your workout static stretching is beneficial as you will be able to lengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.
As you can see the benefits of stretching are many and is important for you to achieve a healthier and stress free lifestyle.