Stretching is an underlooked aspect of life. Regular stretching has a positive impact on our lives. Read on below to find out how.
Stretching involves deliberately expanding and flexing a muscle or tendon to improve the muscle’s elasticity. Regular stretching maintains a smooth range of motion in the joints and muscles.
There are lots of benefits to stretching. It can help increase flexibility, improve posture, reduce stress, and calm the mind. Below are some of the profound benefits of routine stretching.
Stretching Improves Flexibility
Flexibility is crucial in maintaining a full range of motion in the joints. Muscles get shorter and tighter with age, preventing any activities from being done. Stretching often reduces the chances of shortening and tightening of muscles, improving flexibility and ease when doing daily chores.
Dynamic and static stretches are the most commonly used form of stretching. The former focuses on muscle movement, while static stretches involve holding a stretch for some time. Both are beneficial and offer the same benefits.
Stretching Enhances Physical Performance
For athletes, stretching is a vital part of recovery. Their muscles are usually sore after an intense workout, making stretching the go-to option for quick recovery. Before a workout, athletes perform dynamic stretches to get their bodies ready. After working out, static is best to focus on specific muscle groups.
Athletes report fewer injuries, enhancing their career and performance. Pairing flexibility improvement and physical performance, stretching proves to be essential to all athletes.
Stretching Increases Blood Flow
When a person stretches, their muscles’ length grows for a while. This leads to an increase in blood vessels hence transporting blood to all the muscles. The increased blood flow nourishes the muscles and eliminates toxic waste from the muscle tissue.
Extending your muscles also reduces muscle soreness, or delayed onset muscle soreness, usually after an intense exercise. The quick recovery assisted through stretching helps the muscle regain strength while also being nourished and cleansed.
Stretching Improves Posture
Bad posture is usually a result of muscles being weak and tight. These muscles include the back muscles, the glutes, and the hamstrings. Regular muscle extension may improve a person’s posture since it strengthens the muscles.
The strengthening of these muscles reduces musculoskeletal pain and encourages proper alignment. Some good back stretches include the cobra pose, child’s pose, and cat-cow pose. Planking is also beneficial for the back muscles and posture.
Stretching Reduces Stress
Feeling overwhelmed during the day can prove to be unproductive. It may lead to less concentration, fatigue, or brain fog. Stretching can help reduce such feelings and boosts your productivity.
Through extending your muscles, the tight muscles relax, releasing dopamine and serotonin hormones. These hormones make you feel relaxed and happy. Doing this often will guarantee less anxiety throughout the day and improve your overall mood.
Stretching is beneficial to all mammals, not just humans. Its benefits include increased flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, blood flow increase to the muscles, and so on. With such benefits, it is imperative to incorporate stretching into your daily routine for maximum health benefits.
Is stretching necessary?
Stretching is necessary to improve bodily function and overall well-being. Without stretching, you increase the risk of injury.
How long can I stretch for?
Stretching can usually take up to 20 minutes. Targeting major muscle groups while straightening them out is essential to maximize their potential.
How do I make stretching a habit?
Making stretching a habit is simple: create a trigger that will remind you every morning until it becomes automatic.