Although the benefits of exercising daily are plenty and well known, regular stretching is not as well publicized but is just as important. Including regular stretching into your daily exercise or even as a part of your daily routine can be just as significant to achieving a healthy lifestyle as exercising regularly.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching will help improve your flexibility and increase the motion range of your body. Muscles may become tighter over time and also as we age which can affect our range of motion. This decrease in flexibility can make movements less fluid and slower, putting you at greater risk of getting soft tissue injuries and also straining your muscles. 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 build-up 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 on the spot or a brisk walk.
As you can see the benefits of stretching are many and is an integral part of any exercise or daily routine.