Is stretching good exercise for you?
The short answer says yes. Stretching offers a whole lot of benefits that can help you in every activity that you take on for the day. Unfortunately, some find it unnecessary and remove stretching exercises from their workout routines.
People always say you need to stretch before running or exercising but have you ever asked why? Why do we stretch? How does it prevent injuries, sore muscles, and limited movement?
Let us look at these reasons and examine the benefits that they provide to the body.
1. Increases Flexibility and Range of Motion
Why do we stretch? One good reason is that it allows us to increase our body flexibility. It allows us to have a broader range of movement when we take on strenuous activities.
Stretching before a workout can help with performing the exercises with increased efficiency. This means you can lunge lower or jump higher.
This is all because stretching improves blood flow, ensuring your muscles and joints don’t strain during any upcoming heavy activity. Don’t fret, we’ll dive into this a bit more down below.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this also reduces the risks of injury during these activities. You reduce the chances of pulling a muscle during a workout or losing balance.
2. Increases Blood Flow to the Muscles
Another benefit is that stretching improves your blood circulation. With improved blood flow, it becomes easier for oxygen to reach your muscles and organs.
This means your body can recover faster. After a workout, you may experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Better blood flow helps prevent this type of condition.
Experiencing this form of muscle strain may end up dissuading newbies to exercise. Due to this, some feel afraid of hurting themselves.
By incorporating stretching into the workout routine, you can prevent DOMS from occurring. It will give you an easier time between exercises, letting you bounce back into form. You won’t have to complain about waking up in the morning with your body aching.
3. Reduces Anxiety Provides Stress Relief
Stretching exercises also offer a form of comfort and relief. This makes it a fitting relaxation technique. It can also help in reducing anxiety, which is crucial if you’re about to do something that requires your full attention such as lifting heavyweights.
Breaking down the components in stretching exercises reveals breathing as one. With breathing, it allows you to focus and be mindful of your surroundings.
One good way to emphasize this benefit is to incorporate meditation into the routine as well as mindfulness exercises to calm the mind.
Stretching also helps with stress relief. Due to how muscles get tense under stress, stretching exercises can help loosen these muscles and make the body feel ready for more physical activities.
4. Helps Reduce Back Pain
Tight muscles can cause problems for your body. Some common issues include a decrease in range of motion. One of the areas that get affected by muscle tension is the back, particularly the lower back.
By stretching, you can reduce the tension and strain of muscles in that particular region. There are exercises focused on providing relief to lower back pain. Make sure to take on stretching routines on a regular basis for better results.
5. Why Do We Stretch? It Soothes Headaches
Stress and tension can bring about headaches. These tension headaches bring pain in your temples, neck, and behind your eyes. Symptoms come in the form of dull head pain, as well as pressure and tenderness around the forehead.
The pain can also be moderate or mild. But it can also be intense, which leads to people confusing a tension headache with a migraine.
This can come as either episodic or chronic. The causes range from eye strain, alcohol, fatigue, and other possible causes.
With stretching exercises, you can decrease the tension that you feel from such headaches. The stretching routine prepares your body, ensuring you won’t experience a sudden rush of blood to the head or sudden physical pain that could lead to intense headaches. Couple this with proper diet and hydration as well as sufficient amounts of rest for better results.
6. Helps Improve Posture
One of the leading causes of poor posture is muscle imbalance. If left unchecked, poor posture can affect everything in your body. Among the areas impacted by poor posture include your internal organs such as your lungs, liver, and kidneys.
You can use stretching exercises to help correct and improve it. Along with the practice of proper posture. A combination of stretching and strengthening exercises on specific muscle groups can help encourage proper alignment, as well as reduce musculoskeletal pain.
7. Improves Digestion
This would come off as a surprise but stretching can help your digestion. When stretching, you bend your body in positions that help boost metabolism, which means you’re burning fat and making your digestive system do its job.
Like the other parts of the body, your digestive system holds an important role in ensuring that you function well. Digestive health has its connections with our immune system.
Not only that but digestive health also has a hand with mental health. Most of the body’s serotonin, the feel-good transmitter, is also found around this area.
Now if you find yourself having a hard time with your digestion, prepare your yoga mats and start that regiment of stretching exercise. This can help you relax and be rid of that bloated sensation.
Get Up and Start Stretching!
Why do we stretch? To round it all up, stretching prepares our body for more strenuous activities. It helps us fight off headaches, poor posture, and injuries that we could sustain while exercising or working.
With a good set of stretching exercises, you can find a means to condition and relax. Also, have it ready for your everyday activity. Limber up and get going.
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