7 Ways Stretching Increases Physical and Mental Health
You’ve seen it your entire life. Whether headed to the doctor, or to the gym, the constant suggestion to stretch more…
- stretch before your workout,
- stretch after your workout,
- stretch in the morning,
- stretch before bed.
But what’s the point?
It turns out, stretching is way more useful than you may have thought, and the benefits are much more than just avoiding injury during a workout. Whether you are super athletic or always bent over a computer at work, stretching every day (or at least a few times a week) will benefit you greatly.
1) Reduced Stress & Calmed Mind
A stressed body causes the muscles to get tense and tight, which can cause soreness, throbbing headaches, and other painful symptoms. Stretching the right muscles can relieve this tension…reducing some stress, and calming the mind. A calm mind provides opportunities to be creative and optimistic.
2) Improved Blood Flow
When you stretch you gently tug and pull on muscles and ligaments throughout the body which increases the blood flow to these areas. An increased blood flow can help you think more clearly, recover from workouts more quickly, and remove unwanted toxins throughout the body.
3) Increased Energy
One of the greatest benefits of having increased blood flow is how refreshed it makes you feel. This refreshing feeling naturally increases energy levels, which help you to accomplish more each day.
“By lengthening the tight muscles we can realign our body to function as efficiently as possible, allowing us to go about our daily life feeling more energised.”
–Renee Scott, former professional ballerina and founder of Barre Attack told HuffPost Australia.
4) Enhanced Alignment
A misaligned body can experience several physical and mental challenges.However, when aligned, the body can function most efficiently; people experience less aches and pains, the lungs are able to expand properly and supply the blood with necessary oxygen, and there isn’t any unnecessary strain or weight on joints.
Proper alignment also helps improve posture, which can have fiercely negative ramifications on the body and mind. Poor posture affects self-image, depression, soreness, and more. By stretching and aligning the body, posture can be improved and strengthened, making it easier to have better posture in the future.
5) Better Sleep
One of the most common stretching practices is to gently stretch before going to sleep. Stretching can be a very calming activity that helps relax both the mind and body and prepares the body for a calm sleeping experience.
6) Increased Flexibility
Flexibility is perhaps the most obvious benefit to stretching. Being more flexible improves the body’s range of motion, which makes the body less stiff and able to accomplish more while exercising or even turning your head to check a blind spot while driving.
7) Injury Prevention
Stretching loosens and relaxes muscles, preparing them to be used during exercise and athletics. With prepared, warmed up muscles, you can move smoothly and more efficiently, with lower risk of injury. Stretching does not, however, completely eliminate the risk of injury during exercise or athletic activity.
Falling asleep at work? Stand up and stretch out! Feeling sore? Stretching will help. About to go on a run? Don’t forget to stretch. Find times throughout your day to stretch and relax your muscles, reduce your stress, calm your mind, align your body, and improve your quality of life.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.