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Benefits of Stretching
Exercising, building endurance, and strengthening muscle are all integral parts of living an active lifestyle. Additionally, stretching is just as important when it comes to keeping your body strong and healthy.
Stretching is an important part of the muscle recovery process because without it, your muscles would be overworked, putting your body at risk for strains and tears. Because of this, stretching is an essential part of recovery.
Here are 6 benefits of stretching daily.
Stretching increases flexibility
One of the health benefits of stretching daily is increased flexibility. Regular stretching will allow you to become more flexible, which can help you perform daily activities more efficiently.1
The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to have improved balance, greater strength, fewer injuries, and less physical pain.2
Stretching decreases the risk of mobility problems
As you age, it’s expected that your body may lose some of its natural mobility. Stretching can help improve your flexibility, slowing down the aging process. When you stretch, you’re better able to stay active as well as keep up with daily activities and tasks.3
Everyday activities such as bending over to tie shoes or picking up groceries can become more difficult as you age. However, regular stretching will increase your flexibility and allows you more freedom to move.
Stretching can help manage pain
Stretching is important when it comes to recovery, whether you’re recovering from an injury or a tough workout. Because an injury or strength training induces inflammation, the body naturally increases muscle tension to protect the body from further injury.
Another one of the benefits of stretching daily is it can reduce inflammation, as well as the risk of strains that are associated with less flexibility. Stretching can also decrease your risk of additional injuries.4
Stretching improves circulation
Stretching daily can increase blood flow and circulation. Improved circulation has many benefits including increased blood flow to your muscles, which helps to shorten recovery time and reduce the soreness that may be associated with strength training.1
Increased blood flow also helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body. If you struggle with poor circulation due to a cardiovascular condition, stretching can benefit your circulation and health.5 This is also one of the benefits of stretching in the morning, as it gets the blood flowing and wakes up your muscles.6
Stretching can improve posture
Tight or tense muscles can affect your posture due to an imbalance in your muscles. Stretching allows your muscles to lengthen and become stronger, allowing you to have better posture throughout the day.
Correct posture is important because it affects your whole body, including blood flow, nerves, and muscles. Try stretching daily to improve your posture.7
Stretching can release tension
Do you ever feel sore throughout your neck or back after a long day of work? Tightness or soreness in the body can be a sign that you’re holding onto stress.
Stretching has many muscular benefits, including stress and tension release. Sitting all day can cause imbalances in your strength, which affect posture and can lead to tension and soreness. Try stretching daily to loosen your muscles and find tension relief.8
Stretching can improve sleep quality
One of the benefits of stretching before bed is improved sleep quality. Stretching helps to calm you down and reduce your muscles’ stiffness to help you get better rest at night.
Stretching allows your muscles to lengthen after being tight from the day’s activities. It can also relieve your body of any discomfort from the day.9
How to Stretch
Knowing the proper technique when it comes to stretching is important, because stretching incorrectly can do more harm than good. Here are a few tips to get you started if you don’t already stretch daily.10
- Be careful. Stretching cold muscles can cause you to hurt yourself. It’s important to make sure your body is warmed up before stretching, which is why many people stretch after their workout. If you’re interested in stretching before working out, try dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretching is an active movement that primes the muscles for intense training. Some examples of dynamic stretches include arm circles, lunges, or high knees.11
- Focus on symmetry. The best aspect you can focus on is making sure your flexibility is equal on each side. Work on stretching each side of the body to make sure they’re equally as flexible as the other. This can help prevent injuries.
- Hold your stretch. When stretching each muscle group, make sure to hold your stretch for about 30 seconds or longer if needed, without bouncing.
- Stop when it’s painful. When stretching, you should feel some tension. However, you should not be in pain. Stretch to a point where there’s slight tension, and hold there.
- Be consistent. Stretching can be time consuming, but the best results are seen (and felt) when you stretch regularly. An inconsistency in stretching reduces the health benefits that stretching provides.
About Saber Healthcare
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Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Lindberg, Sara. “Stretching: 9 Benefits, Plus Safety Tips and How to Start.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. June 18th, 2018. Accessed April 18th, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-stretching.
- Cronkleton, Emily. “Why Being Flexible Is Great for Your Health.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. May 29th, 2020. Accessed April 20th, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-flexibility.
- Kaminski, Jacqueline. “5 HUGE BENEFITS OF STRETCHING: LEARN THE ADVANTAGES OF FLEXIBILITY.” NASM, blog.nasm.org. Accessed April 18th, 2023. https://blog.nasm.org/the-benefits-of-stretching.
- McCoy, Jenny. “11 Benefits of Stretching That Will Make Anyone Want to Move Their Body.” Condé Nast, self.com. December 24th, 2020. Accessed April 18th, 2023. https://www.self.com/story/benefits-of-stretching.
- “Stretches To Increase Circulation.” Dr. Motion, drmotionsocks.com. July 20th, 2021. Accessed April 20th, 2023. https://drmotionsocks.com/blogs/blog-posts/stretches-to-increase-circulation#:~:text=Stretching%20allows%20your%20body's%20natural,nutrients%20to%20the%20working%20muscles.
- “Wake Up and Stretch: The Top Benefits of Stretching in the Morning.” Stretch22, stretch22.com. Accessed April 20th, 2023. https://stretch22.com/wake-and-stretch-the-top-benefits-of-stretching-in-the-morning/.
- Finley, Sarah. “8 benefits of stretching.” Future US, livescience.com. October 28th, 2022. Accessed April 18th, 2023. https://www.livescience.com/8-benefits-of-stretching.
- “Top 7 Benefits That Comes From Making Stretching a Daily Habit.” HealthTree Foundation, healthtree.org. August 22nd, 2021. Accessed April 18th, 2023. https://healthtree.org/myeloma/community/articles/top-7-benefits-of-making-stretching-a-daily-habit?gclid=CjwKCAjw__ihBhADEiwAXEazJhAyvd2TAdaf_kLxKQmFh2p_danSibko6suM4E8wmyW3sMUJCsXThxoC65AQAvD_BwE.
- “What Are the Best Stretches to Do Before Bed?” Consumer Sleep Solutions, sleepscore.com. February 15th, 2022. Accessed April 20th, 2023. https://www.sleepscore.com/blog/stretches-for-sleep/#:~:text=Generally%2C%20experts%20recommend%20stretching%20between,day%20before%20bedtime%20to%20stretch!
- “Stretching: Focus on flexibility.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic. Accessed April 19th, 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931.
- Coelho, Steph. “What is dynamic stretching and how to do it.” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. January 20th, 2021. Accessed April 20th, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dynamic-stretching#:~:text=Dynamic%20stretching%20involves%20making%20active,body%20for%20more%20intense%20training.