Stretching is one of the most important practices for staying in good health. The vast majority of us wake up every morning with some sort of stretch to help us wake up. However, sadly, most of us don’t stretch as often or as thoroughly as we should. Stretching is essential to our general health and wellness – not only for our bodies, but our minds, as well.
Usually, we assume that if we’re not fitness junkies exercising constantly, then stretching shouldn’t be a priority. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. All of us should be stretching on a regular basis. If you’re looking to ask your therapist relevant questions, questioning them on excellent stretches is a fantastic idea. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of stretching.
The Importance of Stretching for The Body
When you stretch, you’re improving your body’s flexibility. And when you stretch regularly, you engage your muscles more often. As a result, you’ll inevitably become more flexible. In addition, you’ll eventually find stretching much easier, which means improved flexibility.
With improved flexibility, you’ll also strengthen mobility, refine your posture and muscle coordination, plus reduce the risk of injuries and muscle soreness. In fact, flexibility even leads to a much better overall “shape.” Flexibility increases your range of motion and makes several exercises, like cardio, a lot easier to perform.
Poor posture is a very common (and ever-increasing) problem. Fortunately, you can easily correct poor posture with daily stretching. In fact, stretching on a daily basis is an effective way to continuously improve your posture.
When you perform dynamic stretches, you’re strengthening muscles and encouraging proper alignment. As a result, your body no longer slouches and becomes a lot more vertical.
3. Injury Prevention
Preparing your muscles, in any capacity, is always beneficial for one reason or another. And stretching is a very effective way to prepare your muscles for any sort of exercise or heightened physical activity. When you stretch to prepare muscles, you’re greatly reducing the likelihood of an acute or chronic injury.
When you regularly warm and stretch your muscles, you are increasing mobility. This makes movement much smoother, giving your muscles a much more fluid ability to support your motion. As a result, you’re much less likely to injure yourself.
4. Nutrient Boost & Less Soreness/Pain
When we stretch, we’re increasing our blood supply. Of course, this is something that most people (especially fitness fanatics) are well aware of. However, what most people don’t realize is that stretching also greatly boosts the muscle’s nutrient supply.
Stretching encourages blood flow throughout the body. Therefore, your blood is transporting its nutrients and spreading them throughout your body, as well. In addition, accelerated blood and nutrients will help to limit any soreness you might be experiencing.
The Importance of Stretching for The Mind
1. Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Stretching isn’t just an effective way to fortify your body. Additionally, it’s a reliably way to give your mind a break from the daily stress and anxieties you may be experiencing.
When you stretch, you’re recharging and refreshing blood flow throughout your entire body. This results in a much more serene, peaceful state of mind. Yoga is, essentially, a series of unique stretches for our bodies. And there’s a reason why so many people do yoga for more than exercise or weight loss, they do it to achieve a sense of serenity.
2. Release Tension
Most of us store negative emotions like stress or nervousness in our muscles. When we feel overwhelmed or tense, our muscle tighten as a natural defense strategy.
Therefore, the more we stretch, the more we release this inherent tension we keep within our muscles. Like we said: stretching is much more than a method of physical reinforcement. It’s also an exceptional way to manage our stress.
3. Increase Energy
Of course, stretching fosters a much better blood/nutrient flow throughout our bodies. This gives us a unique sense of refreshment, and it also increases our energy levels.
A thorough stretch refreshes and energizes us. As a result, we feel a significant sense of total rejuvenation, and helps us to shake off feelings of lethargy or sluggishness.
Simple Tips for Stretching
Each morning most of us initially wake up with a nice stretch. However, we are not doing the proper amount of stretching that should be done daily. The benefits of stretching daily can reach past the scope of the day and benefit us several years from now as we age. As we get older the muscles in our body tighten, decreasing our range of motion. When we lack flexibility we are more susceptible to muscle tears and strains or other soft tissue injuries. Muscle inflexibility can also cause poor posture. Poor posture can put strains on other parts of the body as well as lead to nerve damage. Stretching can also relieve stress. The best way to prevent all of this is to do simple stretching every day. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat 1-2 times. Below is some simple stretches you can start your day out with.
Conclusion – Farmingdale Physical Therapy West
Of course, any activity that reinforces our bodies is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, considering these many physical and mental benefits, stretching easily ranks among the most important methods of remaining in better overall health. At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, we’re passionate about consulting our patients and guiding them towards healthier, more active lives.