If stretching isn’t currently part of your daily life, it should be! No matter who you are, a good stretch is the perfect way to start your day. There are tremendous benefits to stretching, and if you don’t know where to begin, that is perfectly fine! A physical therapist can help walk you through why stretching would be good for you personally, and how it can help you improve your overall quality of life. For more information, contact our office today.
REASON #1: STRETCHING IMPROVES YOUR LEVEL OF ENERGY.
This is the best reason to get in a good stretch first thing in the morning. A few good stretches, conducted properly with deep breathing, can give you the burst of energy you need to start off your day. If you begin to feel sluggish at work during the day, take a quick “stretch break” to boost your energy level.
REASON #2: STRETCHING DECREASES YOUR RISK OF INJURY.
If you work in an office, you may think there’s no risk of getting injured. However, there is not entirely true – what about when you have to bend over, pick up, and carry a 20-pound box of office supplies? This could easily lead to a pulled or strained muscle, resulting in several weeks of pain and physical therapy to recover. Stretching regularly will greatly decrease the risk of an incident such as this occurring.
REASON #3: STRETCHING ALLOWS FOR BETTER BLOOD CIRCULATION.
One of the main goals of a stretching regimen is to get your blood flowing to the extremities. Blood carries oxygen to your cells and makes you healthier overall. This promotes cell growth and helps your organs function properly. Stretching also lowers your heart rate, which reduces strain on your heart and causes your blood pressure to become more consistent. Additionally, better blood circulation from stretching can also reduce post-workout soreness.
REASON #4: STRETCHING DECREASES MUSCLE SORENESS.
Give your muscles plenty of time to relax and loosen up with a good stretch before and after a workout. As mentioned, stretching improves blood flow to the muscles. This carries oxygen and plenty of necessary nutrients to the muscles, which in turn reduces soreness after your workout.
REASON #5: STRETCHING INCREASES YOUR STAMINA.
A good, long stretching session after a heavy workout can actually improve the stamina of your muscles. When you stretch, it increases the blood flow to those sore muscles and relieves fatigue. Stretching keeps oxygen flowing to your muscles, which delays the onset of muscle fatigue. As a result, this helps your muscles to “hang in there” for a longer period of time before fatigue sets in!
REASON #6: STRETCHING IMPROVES YOUR CHOLESTEROL.
Stretching sessions can help to reduce cholesterol in your body, as long as you’re also following a heart-healthy diet. This can help you avoid heart disease. Stretching has even been shown to reverse the effects of hardening arteries due to cholesterol.
REASON #7: STRETCHING DECREASES YOUR STRESS.
We all carry stress in our bodies. Too much stress can cause your muscles to contract, which can make you feel tense and on-edge. Stretching releases natural endorphins, which will help you relax, boost your mood, and reduce the amount of stress in your body.
REASON #8: STRETCHING IMPROVES YOUR POSTURE.
Stretching every day can help posture by lengthening certain muscles that have a tendency to tighten up when we sit in a chair for work all day. Focusing on your lower back, chest, and shoulders will aid in keeping your spine properly aligned. Stretching also relieves aches and pains, which can cause you to want to slouch.
REASON #9: STRETCHING IMPROVES YOUR FLEXIBILITY.
A common goal in physical therapy is to improve your flexibility and range of motion. Better flexibility carries a host of benefits. It improves your physical performance and reduces the chances of injury. Additionally, when you become more flexible, your body requires less energy to carry out everyday actions.
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