Many people consider stretching to be an unnecessary phase of the exercising process. Some think of it as a tactic employed only by injured people to regain control of their bodies. Others believe that it is only necessary for people performing at the pinnacle of physical ability– athletes, marathon runners and bodybuilders. However, stretching is an extremely important part of exercising. As our physical therapists will tell you, stretching is an essential part of a daily routine, even without exercise. In this post, we’ll discuss the multiple benefits that your body can reap from diligent, regular stretching.
What Immediate Effects Does Stretching Have?
Stretching throughout the exercising process can benefit the body in many ways. Stretching specific muscles before exercising them causes them to achieve the maximum range of motion. This, in turn, allows the muscles to achieve their maximum strength, pushing the body’s boundaries. So, stretching before weight training or other anaerobic exercises allows people to achieve the maximum gains. This is precisely our goal during physical therapy sessions where stretching is the main focus.
One misconception about stretching is that all physical or athletic activities benefit from prior stretching. This is not the case. Stretching before running or sprinting can actually inhibit your muscles from reaching their optimal range of motion. Static stretches are actually best left for the post-workout cooldown, while dynamic stretches should come before working out.
Benefits of Stretching
1. Reduced Muscle Tension
As we discussed previously, athletes are not the only people who should be stretching. It produces a therapeutic feeling for everyone. Regardless of the extent of your physical activity, stretching regularly will reduce muscle tension. You will feel these benefits whether you are walking, lifting, or simply going throughout life. During all physical therapy sessions, our specialists attempt to reduce the tension of our patients.
2. Increasing Joint Range of Motion
Beyond achieving greater gains during a workout, stretching can have plenty of other performance-related benefits. Stretching will increase the joint range of motion, meaning that it enables you to move body parts further than before. By helping patients to increase the range of motion, our Farmingdale physical therapists can help patients to accomplish tasks that require movement, and create a more comfortable lifestyle.
3. Muscular Coordination
To allow for more dynamic movement, some physical therapy sessions focus on a muscle group, rather than a solitary muscle. In this way, stretching enhances muscle coordination, or the idea that muscles work in greater harmony to accomplish the task at hand.
4. Blood Circulation
Muscles need sufficient nutrients and oxygen in order to properly perform their role in the human body. Stretching increases the flow of blood throughout the body, consequently transporting blood along with both oxygen and nutrients. This is a central goal of physical therapists, who recognize the importance of blood circulation.
5. Heightened Energy Levels
The increased circulation also results in heightened energy levels. This is because your body is performing with more resources. Additionally, the therapeutic effects that stretching has on the body lead to a more positive and outgoing lifestyle. Learning to stretch properly during physical therapy will lead to a more performance-focused lifestyle.
Farmingdale Physical Therapy
Stretching is a vital aspect of good musculoskeletal health. It also strengthens vitality through the aging process. As Farmingdale physical therapists, we strongly encourage everyone to incorporate stretching into their workout routine and daily life.