We all know that healthy living means incorporating a dose of exercise as part of our weekly routine, but how often do you include stretching in that regime? Is it just something you think about doing only when you have “time” for it? Most of us are so busy that stretching is one activity that is often overlooked - but it doesn’t need to involve a lot of time and it’s incredibly good for you. Here’s why:
It improves your flexibility
Everyone needs good flexibility in order to maintain a range of movement in the joints. If we don’t have good flexibility, our muscles tighten, which in turn makes some movements difficult. This can lead to muscle strains and joint pains. Stretching helps improve your flexibility, and good flexibility means you can perform your daily activities with ease and comfort. It can also help delay the mobility problems that come with aging, so there’s no need to give up physical activities when you're older.
It’s great for relieving stress
Ever wake up still feeling stressed, tired and anxious? Then it’s time for you to get into a stretching routine because regular stretching reduces stress and anxiety. When you’re stressed, your muscles are tense, but when you stretch, it relaxes your muscles - helping you to feel relaxed overall. Feel which part of your body carries the most stress. It could be your neck, your shoulders, or your back; then focus on those areas while stretching.
It improves blood circulation
Good blood circulation allows better passage of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Regularly stretching may help improve blood circulation and increase blood flow to the muscles. If you’ve ever experienced muscle soreness, stretching can reduce your recovery time. And most importantly, your heart rate will have less work to do as your blood pressure becomes consistent.
It’s a great mid-day energy booster
Many people feel quite sluggish after lunch or during the mid-afternoon. If this sounds like you, don’t reach for the chocolate pick-me-up, try doing some stretching instead. You’ll find that it gives you the energy boost you need when that groggy feeling starts to hit in the afternoon. When you feel sluggish, groggy, or lethargic, your muscles tighten. Stretching loosens your muscles - which makes it an effective way to fight those attacks.
It enhances your posture
Muscle tightening can create imbalances that may lead to a less than upright posture. Stretching reduces muscle pain which then leads to proper alignment. Tight muscles have the tendency to pull your posture away from its proper position and stretching will relax those muscles, especially in your back torso. This will give your spine a better position which naturally enhances your posture.
It improves overall function
Poor posture is often caused by patterns of repetitive movements, bad body mechanics, or even spending long hours seated, and these are all factors that can cause your muscles to become tight, contracted, and tense. Regular stretching improves the overall function by making sure that the body can positively respond to the stresses that are brought about by different movements and activities.
It can reduce the risk of injuries
Stretching is often done as a warm-up for an exercise routine as it helps elevate the body temperature and prepares the body for the movements that are about to be performed. This helps prevent the risk of injuries as cold muscles and tendons are more prone to injuries such as a strain, sprain or rupture.
It gives you a better quality of life
Although aging and the physical changes that come along with it are inevitable, stretching can help delay them. With improved flexibility at any age, longevity can be increased which can bring a better quality of life overall.
Stretching is definitely good for your overall flexibility and improved quality of life - no matter what your age. Of course, if you have any health concerns it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional before starting your new stretching routine, especially if you have suffered an injury.
A personal trainer can also help you to get on track but if your budget’s a bit tight right now, we’re here to help. Just check out our fast cash loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the money into your bank account within a few hours - so you could book your personal training sessions and get stretching this week!