Benefits of Stretching
When you have that stretch, first thing in the morning, the reason that it feels so good is that it’s doing you
good. Stretching relaxes your muscles and it increases the flow of blood and nutrients to your cartilage and
muscles. Stretching also improves your flexibility and helps you avoid injury, so stretch away, and enjoy these
benefits of stretching:
1. Helps improve flexibility
Improved flexibility, which refers to how much a muscle lengthens, is a key benefit from stretching and yoga
movements. Everyday tasks like tying your shoes, reaching for items in cabinets and lifting objects can become
easier. Similarly, muscle coordination can improve with regular stretching. All of these benefits become even
more important as you get older since muscles naturally become tighter and shorter over the years.
2. Increases your range of motion
Stretching can keep the body’s joints, tendons and ligaments lubricated and can improve range of motion.
Range of motion refers to the distance your joints are able to move their corresponding limbs. An increased
range of motion from stretching allows you more mobility and agility. Increased agility provides better balance
and reaction time when dealing with instability.
3. Better Circulation
Stretching encourage better circulation of blood throughout the body, including to the joints and muscles. This
yields quicker healing of any muscle injuries and more nutrients coming to the muscles at all times.
4. Stress relief
Stretching is for both the body and mind. It’s a time where you can focus on your body and your breathing.
Stress can increase your perception of pain. However, if you take a moment to relax, it can increase your
body’s healing capabilities and promote well-being.
How to Stretch
- Avoid over-stretching. Never stretch to the point of pain or discomfort. You will feel slight tension or a pull on the muscle at the peak of the stretch.
- Go slow! Always stretch slowly and evenly. Hold the stretch for about fifteen seconds and release slowly as well.
- Never bounce or jerk while stretching. This can cause injury as a muscle is pushed beyond it’s ability. All stretches should be smooth, and slow.
- Don’t forget to breathe. Flexibility exercises should be relaxing. Deep easy, even breathing is key to relaxation. Never hold your breath while you stretch.