Top 4 Reasons You Should Stretch
We all know that diet and exercise will help promote a healthy lifestyle. While you’re busy lifting, running, and eating healthy, you and many others may neglect a simple stretch. Stretching only takes a few minutes and has huge benefits such as improved flexibility, reduced injuries, and overall relaxation. Here are the top 4 reasons you should stretch and how it could improve your lives.
#1 Maintain Flexibility and Range of Motion
Lifting heavy weights will help you grow stronger and larger. These larger muscles can actually inhibit your range of motion and prevent you from moving as easily as you could before. This is often seen a loss of flexibility, but it doesn’t have to happen. Stretching will help you maintain and even improve your current levels of flexibility even while lifting heavy weights.
Stretching helps warm up joints and muscles so you will feel less stiffness during a workout, which could lead to more progress as you’re able to do more work. Increased range of motion can also help improve performance. Being able to move farther can help with leverage and increase the overall efficiency of movements.
#2 Reduce Risk of Injury
Working out of any kind puts a strain on the body. Often times pushing too hard or too fast can lead to injury. As stretching helps increase range of motion, it also helps reduce the amount of strain put on any muscle as the lengthened muscle helps distribute the weight. More flexibility means your muscles as less likely to tear or be pulled.
Stretching also works to reduce the degradation of joints so those aching joints will not turn into larger sprains or problems. By stretching prior to working out, you prepare the body for stress and help kick start circulation. A few minutes stretching can help loosen up stiff muscles so that they are more resistant to the upcoming workout.
#3 Relieve Aches and Pains
Even if today is your day off, it’s a great time to stretch. Stretching helps relieve aches and pains your body may have after a week of working out. By lengthening your muscles, you help keep them loose and relaxed instead of tight and wound up which usually happens after a workout. Stretching on your off days can also help encourage faster recovery.
Delayed onset of muscle syndrome is the typical soreness or pain you’ll feel a few days after a heavy workout. Stretching can help release toxin and acid build up in your muscles so you’ll recover faster. Lower back pain is quite common and actually caused by a lack of flexibility in your hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower back muscles. Stretching these areas can help alleviate lower back pain without needing to take medications or other substances.
#4 Manage Stress and Relaxation
While physical performance can be greatly improved by stretching, mental health is also a factor. Stretching is effective at helping to relieve stress and achieve overall relaxation. As many yoga practitioners have experienced, stretching helps induce a calm state of mind. Lengthening of the muscles helps improve circulation of both oxygen and vital nutrients which overall leads to a more comfortable and relaxed feeling.
Simply getting up from your seat at the office and moving or stretching can help to refresh your body. This is especially important for those working in a seated or stationary position for hours on end. Whether your goal is improved performance in the gym or just to relieve some stubborn back pain, stretching could help and only takes minutes a day.