Stretching is one of the most underrated forms of exercise ever to exist. The few simple steps that stretching consists of are easy to do and take very little time. Stretching can be done in the morning to help your mind and body wake up. You should also stretch before an intense workout to prevent cramping, or after a tiring day at the office to loosen up sore muscles.
Stretching can be done by people of all ages and has numerous benefits. The most important advantage of stretching is overall health, as demonstrated by excellent stretching workouts such as hyperbolic stretching. Although flexibility is one of the most common benefits of regular stretching, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
We’ve listed down some of the little known benefits of stretching that are sure to get you off your bed and onto your mat.
If you are new to stretching in general take a look at our beginners article here.
Regular stretching keeps your muscles and ligaments healthy and delays the deteriorative signs of ageing. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your muscles and joints don’t become stiff as you grow older is by doing regular stretching exercises.
Stretching is the only kind of exercise that ensures that your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones all work in tandem and remain in great shape for a longer time. The increased blood flow to these areas keeps them healthy by providing them with oxygen and essential nutrients, and by preventing the build-up of toxic waste products as well.
Improves Physical Performance
Stretching is an excellent way of improving your physical performance; this is why you will often find top athletes stretching on the field before their big game. Stretching is an easy way to warm up your muscles and get them ready for intense physical performance.
Skipping stretching exercises and going straight to strenuous exercise is a horrible idea as your muscles are not prepared and are more likely to cramp up. The pre-workout adrenaline rush alone will not suffice in making sure your body is ready to take on the intense exercise you’re about to undergo.
Great Stress Reliever
Stretching is a simple, effective, and easy way to relieve stress. When someone is stressed, they experience a range of psychosomatic symptoms such as tense and sore muscles. This is why you may experience neck pain and muscle fatigue after an especially stressful day at the office.
The best way to combat this is to keep stretching at regular intervals. Stretching will help to relax your muscles that, in turn, signal your brain to relax as well. The effects are subtle yet effective and can help you check-in with yourself, become more mindful of your body, and tone down your stress levels.
Improves Posture Naturally
A bad posture can cause a variety of problems, from backaches to sprains and strains. Stretching helps you to naturally align your muscles and keep your back in an optimal position. One of the best ways to improve your posture is by doing regular stretching exercises throughout your day.
These stretching exercises don’t have to be extensive or intense; a few minutes of simple stretching will suffice in keeping your back straight. Stretching exercises also help to improve muscle imbalances, which in turn help to align your back.
Great For Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches experienced by people all over the world. These headaches are the result of a combination of brain fatigue and stress. Stretching is an excellent way to keep tension headaches at bay.
Regular, short, and simple stretching exercises help to redirect your brain into focusing on your body. Deep breathing and simple stretching are a great way to provide fresh oxygen to the brain that will help increase focus and prevent brain fatigue and tension headaches.
Excellent For Backaches
Backaches are often the result of strained back muscles. Stretching can help to heal these muscle injuries by providing the area with oxygenated blood and introducing movement in otherwise stiff muscles. Stretching is also an excellent way to prevent future injuries by strengthening the muscles of the back.
Maintenance Of Range Of Motions In The Joints
Stretching helps to keep your joints and ligaments in motion. Joints and their ligaments tend to get stiff over time if they’re not stretched or appropriately exercised. As you age, these areas start to experience age-related deterioration. Stretching can help take care of this issue and ensure that your joints and ligaments stay healthy and maintain their range of motion over a long period.
Delays Muscle Fatigue
Stretching can help to delay muscle fatigue during strenuous exercise. If you start your workout by doing a few simple stretches to warm up, then you’re less likely to experience cramps, and you can exercise for longer without feeling tired.
Stretching increases the blood flow to your muscles, which in turn prevents the build-up of lactic acid in them. This lactic acid is what usually causes cramps, muscle fatigue, and soreness, and stretching can quickly help you to take care of it.
Increases Attention And Energy
Stretching provides an excellent boost of energy to your whole body. Blood can accumulate in unused muscles; when you stretch these muscles, they release this stored blood. The blood then circulates the entire body. Stretching also causes a small surge in adrenaline levels that also helps in increasing your focus and energy.
Stretching is an excellent way to warm up for exercise, shed some weight, bust some stress, or simply keep your body in good shape. You can easily find a stretching exercise that suits you. No matter what your age or weight, stretching is beneficial for everyone and should be practiced regularly.