One of the best things you can do for your body is implementing moments of stretching on a daily basis. While achieving muscle growth and cardiovascular endurance is great, prepping your body for these things is crucial. It will help you increase flexibility and posture aside from boosting athletic performance.
For non-athletes, they may think that stretching is only for people who engage in sports like running or gymnastics. However, if truth be told, we all need this activity to foster mobility and independence.
True enough, a lot of people do not understand how important this is. Stretching should be done daily and not just on occasions when we feel like we want to. So, let’s talk about stretching. We’ll discuss what it is, how to do it, and what the benefits of stretching truly are.
What Is Stretching?
Stretching is the process of moving specific parts of your body in a position that will ultimately lengthen the muscles. When you engage in stretching, you will notice gradual changes within your body. It not only gives importance to the muscles but it also highlights other tissues like tendons, ligaments, and fascia.
Because stretching targets the muscle and keeps it flexible, it also helps it stay strong and healthy. If you fail to stretch your muscles, they shorten and become tight without it. As a result, when you decide to do some activity, you will not be able to move to your greatest potential as they have become weak and unable to extend all the way.
Stretching has numerous benefits. Not only does it improve flexibility and posture, as mentioned above, it can also reduce stress, body aches, and more.
Benefits Of Stretching
There are many different benefits that come with stretching, but we are going to cover the most prevalent ones below. While these benefits are widely seen and experienced, your own benefits may range.
1. Decreases Muscle Stiffness And Increases Range Of Motion
Even at such a young age, most people fail to move their joints in a full range of motion. Being able to move your joints gives you more freedom in movement and this would highly result in being able to do your tasks or activities well. Stretching regularly enhances your range of motion and as research found out, it also slows the degeneration of the joints.
2. Improves Performance In Physical Activities
Before engaging in activities, whether that be a HIIT workout, some circuit training, or a marathon, one must be prepared physically. Performing stretches before the actual activity has been found out to help in the conditioning of the muscles. It also helps in improving performance in athletic events. Pro tip: the next time you have an event, remember to do some stretching in preparation for it.
3. May Reduce The Risk Of Injury
A common problem individuals experience, most especially middle-aged people, is injury due to sudden movement. This is a problem because if not addressed immediately, it may result in more dangerous injuries.
A flexible muscle has a lower chance of becoming injured. Because stretching helps in increasing your range of motion, you do not have to worry about getting injuries as you can now decrease the resistance of your body’s muscles when you participate in various activities.
4. Increases Blood Flow To Muscles
Stretching has also been found out to increase blood flow to the muscles. The impact of this on your body is immense because it can shorten your recovery time and eventually diminish muscle soreness.
5. Helps Relieve Post-Exercise Aches And Pains
Did you think stretching only aids in pre-exercise aches and pains? Well, it also helps with post-workouts as well. After a hard and tough workout, stretching your muscles can reduce the tightening effect of the exercise. Thus, post-workout aches and pains decrease as well.
6. Great For Stress Relief
Unfortunately, we live in a time where there are many external stressors around us. If you find yourself chronically stressed, your muscles tend to be more tense. This is because it has a significant relationship with your physical and emotional stress. In other words, when you are stressed, your muscles are stressed as well. Stretching can help bring relief by focusing on the area where you feel stress is coming out such as the neck, shoulders, or the upper back. Stretching has been known to calm the mind in addition to helping decrease stress. When you stretch, go with the flow to give your mind a mental break.
If you feel stressed, take a moment and give stretching a go.
7. Reduces Muscular Tension And Enhances Muscular Relaxation
Tensed muscles in response to stress or any form of bodily movement tend to cut off blood circulation. This would result in a massive deficit supply of oxygen and fundamental nutrients in the body. Through stretching, your muscles are relaxed and become less tense.
8. Improves Efficiency And Overall Movement
The fact that stretching aids in increasing the range of motion corresponds to being able to use less energy when moving. Since this is essentially the case, a person can perform excellently well by producing more energy-efficient movements.
9. Promotes Circulation
Stretching is an integral part of physical fitness because it can help in increasing the body’s circulation. A healthy body is an indication of good blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscles and organs which includes the heart and other vital organ systems in the body.
Recommended Stretching Products
For those who want to start their journey in stretching, here are some of the top products found in the market:
ProStretch Double – Bilateral Stretching System
This stretching product is making noise in the market. It is designed to aid the lower extremity to have more strength, balance, and flexibility while at the same time reduces the risk of injury. If you want to target specific parts of your body for stretching, the ProStretch is suitable and recommended for people who want to rehab their ankle Achilles tendon and calf muscles.GET THE BEST PRICE ON PROSTRETCH DOUBLE
CoreStretch Back and Core Stretcher
Looking for a product that stretches the back, shoulders, hips, and hamstrings? The product you might be referring to is the CoreStretch. With this stretching tool, you can do as many as 10 different stretches. It also comes with adjustable size, lengthening, or shortening to the position you desire.GET THE BEST PRICE ON CORESTRETCH BACK AND CORE STRETCHER
The Stretch-Rite is a product that provides controlled stretch for the development of flexibility and ROM which comes with six progressive color-coded handgrips.GET THE BEST PRICE ON STRETCH-RITE
Overdoor Exercise Pulley Sets
This product is suitable if you want to strengthen your upper body and increase your range of motion (ROM). Because of its portability, you can hang it almost everywhere even on a door. It allows you to stretch without the need for heavy equipment.
Body Therapy Balls
Body therapy balls are good for those who want to stretch their pelvic, hip, lower back, middle back, and neck. These balls are suitable for these parts because of the maximum support and comfort they provide. Not to mention the counter-pressure comfort as tension in muscular tissue is released.
Should You Start Stretching Daily?
Stretching plays a crucial role in keeping the body physically and mentally fit. Through stretching, you can decrease the chances of any injury that might occur and experience all the benefits mentioned above.
You mustn’t forget that if you have any specific stretching needs, never hesitate to consult your Physical Therapist because they know the best for you. They can also advise you on the things you should not do so you will not stretch your limits.