Your body does more work throughout the day than you may even realize. Your organs, joints, and muscles all work together seamlessly so you can function at your optimum level. Because your body works so hard every day, it is important to take time to tend to it. Healthy dieting and exercise are crucial habits to practice, so you can keep your body happy and healthy. Additionally, taking a just a few minutes out of your day can have numerous positive effects on your body.
Why is stretching so important?
The importance of stretching is something we learn at a young age. It helps to loosen up your muscles both before and after a workout to prevent them from becoming stiff. Stretching helps our bodies prepare for physical activity in order to stay safe and healthy while we exercise. Stretching is also a fundamental component of many physical therapy treatment plans, as it helps to strengthen and support muscles after an injury. It can also help prevent injuries from developing in the future when done properly and regularly. The benefits of stretching also don’t stop there!
There are 5 main benefits to stretching regularly:
- Improvement in posture. Stretching can strengthen the muscles in your back and shoulders, making it easier for you stand upright and thus improving your posture. With improved posture also comes reduced pain in your back and neck. To focus on posture improvement, perform stretches that include your shoulders, chest, and lower back, as these all affect your spine alignment.
- Decreased stress. Stretching is a great way to relieve stress. Stress is carried in different parts of the body, including the neck, back, and shoulders. By stretching those common problem areas, you can find physical and emotional relief from the stresses you may be carrying there. Since stretching is such a common recommendation for stress relief, many people will take to yoga in order to find relief.
- Pain relief. Stretching increases your flexibility and range of motion. In doing so, it is also able to prevent muscle injury and reduce the pain and discomfort you may be feeling in certain areas. Daily stretches can provide increased levels of comfort when performing everyday motions that may be bothering you.
- Increased stamina. Stretching your muscles everyday helps them grow stronger, but it also helps them stay stronger for longer. By incorporating stretching into your regular routine, you can improve your muscle stamina by making physical exertion more comfortable, as well as long-term stamina by lengthening the duration of your strength. Stretching before a workout can help you power through your workout at a more intense level.
- Improvement of energy levels. We all feel that slump towards the end of the day, around the time when 3 p.m. hits and we feel like we may need another cup of coffee in order to stay awake. However, stretching can actually have the same – or better! – effect as caffeine. Engaging in a little bit of simple stretching can boost your energy and help you remain awake and alert for the rest of the afternoon.
The benefits of stretching can help in achieving your health and athletic pursuits, but the benefits go even further beyond that – it can help in improving your overall quality of life. By working with our Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance team, you can learn the proper ways to stretch in order to heal an injury and/or work on improving your function. Schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists today to find out how our services can benefit you!