Daily life can be mentally and physically exhausting. If you’re feeling worn down at the end of the day, consider incorporating stretching into your routine. Backed by medical research, the facts show that giving the muscles a habitual stretch could provide numerous advantages, both for the body and the mind. Below is a brief look into a few of those benefits.
First up is a more well-known benefit: improving posture. Research shows that when a person stretches regularly, it works to restore the muscle imbalances that are the likely causes behind improper alignment and poor posture. It does so by strengthening the affected muscle groups and encouraging good alignment.
Along with posture correction, stretching also helps to increase range of motion and may even expand flexibility. Both benefits allow for more freedom of movement, greater comfort and improved efficiency in physical, everyday activities. If someone suffers from back pain, light stretching is a highly recommended form of relief because it alleviates stiffness and increases muscle strength to help better support the back.
Stretching doesn’t just support physical health. Research suggests it may boost mood and focus. As it gets the blood flowing throughout the entire body, it provides long-term gains to the cardiovascular system and improved circulation to the brain. The enhanced circulation, along with the self-care aspect of stretching and mindful breathing, is believed to help reduce anxiety and stress while encouraging a calm, relaxed feeling.
Of course, it’s important to not overstretch as it could lead to a strain or sprain. Everyone, regardless of physicality, is advised to warm up before stretching, refrain from bouncing while practicing, prevent the muscles from stretching too far and avoid stretching the same muscles too often.
For more information on the benefits of stretching, please see the accompanying resource.
Author bio: Dan Borucki is an ISSA Certified Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer at Reclaim Fitness. He is committed to providing a level of service that is focused on the individual, whatever his or her needs and goals may be. Borucki strives to encourage, support and challenge his clients to feel stronger, healthier and more confident.
Infographic provided by Reclaim Fitness, personal trainer in New Lenox