Get Up and Stretch: The Importance of Stretching

It is all too easy to forget about stretching but it is just as crucial as regular exercise. It is important to make time for it in your exercise routine as well as throughout your day. Between the stress of everyday life, stationary postures, repetitive movements, injuries you may have, and weak or tensed muscles, your muscles need to be circulated to be healthy. There is a long list of benefits that come about from stretching regularly. Keeping your muscles happy and healthy through stretching will give you a happy and healthy outlook on life.

Stretching not only increases your blood flow and circulation but it also helps to clear your mind and helps alleviate stress. Stretching releases tension and gives your mind a break which in turn leaves you feeling less stressed. Short periods of stretching (10-15 minutes) can give your mind the break it needs to recharge. Stretching is also a low impact activity that anyone can do to decrease stress and keep active. Other benefits include; improved flexibility, better balance, corrected posture, fewer aches, decreased muscle stiffness, and preparing the body for exercise.

There are a few places that are most important to stretch, one of these being your thoracic spine. Your thoracic spine can become tight and create problems throughout the chain of your body. Rotational stretches are very important for this especially if you’re sitting, driving, or staying stationary a lot. Your glutes are also especially important to stretch too. If you are sitting a lot your glute muscles will begin to shut down and other muscles in your body will begin to become over stressed as a result. The best way to keep this from happening is getting up to stretch and wake up these muscles to keep them active.

Here are some tips and tricks you should know to incorporate stretching in your life! Remember that while stretching is important, it can lead to injury if you are trying to stretch cold muscles, so try warming up with some brief walking before stretching out cold muscles. The best type of stretching involves slow and controlled movements. These could include things such as leg kicks, spinal twists, and arm circles. Yoga is also a great way to add stretching to your life, whether you want to do it by yourself or start taking a class. Incorporating stretching into your everyday routine will help you mentally, physically, and overall help you to be happier and healthier.

References

1) http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/08/27/9-reasons-you-need-to-stretch-every-day-how-to-do-it-properly-most-of-us-have-been-doing-it-wrong-our-entire-lives/

2) https://www.acefitness.org/updateable/update_display.aspx?pageID=520