How often do you think about your muscles? Sure, you might think about them when you’re bulking up at the gym, or when they’re in a lot of pain, but how often do you actually think about them. How often do you stop to consider what they do for you? How often do you think about what you can do to help prevent injury and pain, and keep them from feeling stiff or cramped? We’ve already talked about using proper posture, but this week, we’re going to look at ten reasons you should stretch… daily!
- Improved Posture – Over time, chronic poor posture causes muscles to shorten and pull your body into all sorts of strange positions. One shoulder could end up higher than the other, your head might end up three inches in front of your spine, one hip might be anteriorly rotated while the other isn’t. Stretching helps lengthen these muscles and bring them back to their original, healthy state.
- Increased Range of Motion – A perk of lengthening the muscles is that it increases the range of motion – or how far that muscle can move. This is a great perk for people recovering from injury or surgery.
- Preventative Measure – With increased range of motion comes the decreased risk of injury from over extension of limbs.
- Stress Relief – Stretching is a way to warm up your muscles and release tension. This has benefits for your mind, too, as decreased tension in your body equals decreased tension in your mind.
- Increased Spatial Awareness – When you’re thinking about your muscles on a daily basis as you stretch, you’re more apt to notice where you are in relation to objects throughout the day. This has benefits for athletes who engage in rigorous workouts, and for people who are losing their coordination as they get older. Speaking of…
- Better Coordination and Stamina – A study showed that college students who stretched for 30 minutes before walking on a stabilometer were less likely to fall than were college students who did not stretch.
- Increased Athletic Performance – When your muscles have better movement, you’ll be able to execute workouts and athletic activities better. So even if you’re just power-lifting, it definitely pays to stretch beforehand.
- Reduced Soreness After Physical Activity – When you stretch, your muscles open up, and become less stiff and cramped. So, even though they may still feel tired and achey after a sweat sesh, you’ll definitely be doing your body a favor if you stretch before and after your workout.
- Increased Blood Flow – Stretching increases the flow of blood – and therefor the flow of nutrients – to your muscles. This allows them to do the work they need to do to keep you going!
- Increased Energy – This increased blood and nutrient flow reaches your brain as well, giving you more energy and keeping you focused!
7 Incredible Results You Can Get From Stretching Everyday by Kara Wahlgreen
Benefits of Stretching by Heart of Healing
Top 10 Health Benefits of Stretching by Health Fitness Revolution