You may think that stretching is only for athletes, runners, and those that exercise daily. But did you know that stretching is important for everyone? Stretching can help protect your mobility, help build your flexibility and your muscles. Stretching is important to everyone and needs to be done daily even if you do not plan on exercising vigorously.
Why Stretching Is Important
To maintain a range of motion in our joints, our muscles need to be flexible, strong, and healthy. Stretching helps with the flexibility in the muscle and without it, the muscles can shorten and become tight. When this happens it can make everyday activities such as walking and sitting painful. That in turn puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
When your muscles become tight and you use them for physical activity you risk the chance of them becoming damaged from suddenly being stretched. Injured muscles may not be strong enough to support your joint and can lead to joint pain. But regular stretching can help keep these muscles flexible and when you exert these muscles suddenly you won’t have any issues. Healthy muscles are always a good thing.
Benefits of Stretching
Your body as well as your mind can benefit from daily stretching. Incorporating just a few minutes of stretching into your daily routine can allow your muscles to be well circulated and healthier. Here are a few ways that the body benefits from stretching:
Flexibility is improved with stretching. The more you stretch the more your muscles are moved, and the more flexible you become. Once your body gets used to stretching it becomes easier and this also improves your flexibility.
If you are wanting to improve your posture, consider stretching. Poor posture is very common and can easily be reversed and even healed with some simple stretches daily. Stretching strengthens your muscles and encourages proper alignment making you less slouched and more vertical.
Injury is decreased when you prepare your muscles for any exercising movement. Making your muscles warm by stretching in return, makes your movements become easier, and helps with injury prevention.
Increased Nutrients and Reduced Soreness
Did you know that stretching can help with blood supply to your muscles as well as nutrient supply to your muscles? Stretching allows blood to flow through your body, and the nutrients in your blood are also being carried and spread throughout your body as well. With the increased blood and nutrient supply, you can expect less soreness.
Benefits Of Stretching For The Mind
Everyone needs a mental break now and then. Stretching provides your mind with this metal break. It allows your blood to refresh and recharge throughout your body, resulting in a calmer and more peaceful mindset.
Some individuals carry stress in their muscles without even realizing it. When you are feeling overwhelmed your muscles tend to tighten up acting like a defense mechanism. By stretching your muscles you can release some of the tension. Stretching is a very effective form of stress management.
Everyone wants more energy. Feeling drained? Try some stretches. Stretching allows increased blood and nutrient flow throughout the body, leaving you feeling refreshed. The increase in energy levels can result in an improved sense of invigoration, making you feel strong, healthy, and full of energy. Check out the tips below for stretching:
Stretching Is Not a Warm-up Activity
One of the biggest myths involving stretching is that is should only be done as a warm-up activity. This is simply not true. Stretching with cold muscles can result in an injury. It is most effective when performed with warm muscles. So it is best to stretch after a small session of physical activity. If you are trying to stretch before a big work out try taking a short walk or a jog to warm up your muscles first, then try stretching, then do your work out.
Focus On Tight Muscles
When your muscles become sore and stressed they can become tight and uncomfortable. When this happens it is important to focus on these muscles so you can get the blood flow increased and reduce the tension. Once these muscles become stretched movement becomes easier and the soreness is reduced.
Muscles can become torn if you bounce while stretching. This can also lead to scar tissue which can further tighten the muscle and lead to soreness and decreased flexibility. Instead of bouncing try holding the stretch for 15-60 seconds and repeat 3-4 times per stretch.
Time Spent Stretching
You do not have to waste all your time stretching. You can take 10 minutes out of your day 2-3 times a week and achieve great results. Try to maintain a regular schedule so your body can get accustomed to the stretches and you have a constant range of motion. Make stretching a habit weekly to increase your flexibility.
Essentials of Stretching
Proper technique with stretching is very important. If done incorrectly it can result in injury, soreness and can be harmful to your muscles. If you are already injured please remember to not overwork those muscles. If you are stretching and feel pain, always stop and ease up on that muscle.
Try focusing on major muscle groups, these include the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, pelvis, hips, and legs. By stretching the major muscles you will receive the most benefit and improve flexibility throughout your body. Also, remember when stretching to keep your routine up. The more you stretch the more benefits you receive.
Are you suffering from back pain, sports injury, or an accident? Did you know Chiropractic can possibly help treat these injuries?
Get in touch with Dr. Pete Hinz at Cool Springs Chiropractic today for a FREE consultation.