Everyone knows that exercise is a part of healthy living, but do you consider a stretching routine part of your exercise program, or as an afterthought that gets done if “time permits?” Since no one ever has enough time, you may want to reconsider how you view exercise, as there are so many benefits to a stretching program. Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. It does not have to involve a huge amount of time, but stretching can end up giving you huge results!
Here are five of the most important benefits of stretching:
1. Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Stretching helps improve your range of motion, which may also slow the degeneration of your joints.
2. May reduce your risk of injury. A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured if you have to make a sudden move. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you can decrease the resistance on your body’s muscles during various activities.
3. Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching your muscles helps keep them loose and lessens the shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
4. Improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest helps keep your back in better alignment and improves your posture.
5. Helps reduce or manage stress. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and, therefore, can help you feel less stressed.
Now that you know what stretching does for the body, it’s time to start a stretching routine regularly. You’re bound to see the effects from stretching in just a short span of time and before long, you’ll be the healthiest version of yourself!