4 reasons why incorporating stretching into your daily routine is just as important to health and body functioning as regular exercise.
By Jon Fletcher
Whether you’re an elite athlete or complete newcomer to exercise, stretching is vitally important to facilitate flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. It does this by relaxing your muscles and increasing blood flow and nutrients to your cartilage and muscles.
1. IMPROVED POSTURE
By lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position and by keeping your muscles loose, stretching improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture by relieving aches and pains. And with reduced pain, there is a reduced desire to hunch or slouch. If you work at a desk for 9 hours a day or suffer from lower back pains this is particularly useful.
2. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
The most established and obvious benefit of stretching is increasing your flexibility and range of motion. An effective flexibility training program can improve your physical performance and help reduce your risk of injury. By improving your range of motion, your body requires less energy to make the same movements and you also will have more flexible joints which decreases the likelihood of picking up injuries during workouts or during daily activities.
3. IMPROVED CIRCULATION
Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles and improves overall health. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth and organ function. The heart rate will also lower since it doesn’t have to work as hard and blood pressure will become more even and consistent.
4. REDUCED SORENESS
Stretching before and after a workout gives your muscles time to relax. It increases blood flow, increases nutrient supply to the muscles, relieves soreness in the muscles and shortens their recovery time.