It is all too easy to forget about stretching, but it can be just as beneficial for the body as regular exercise. It is important to make time for stretching in your exercise routine as well as throughout your day.
Due to the combination of the general stresses of everyday life, stationary postures, repetitive movements, injuries you may have, and weak or tensed muscles, your muscles need to be given some attention in order to be healthy. There is a long list of benefits that you can enjoy when you engage in stretching regularly.
Body and Mind
Stretching not only increases your blood flow and circulation, but it also helps to clear your mind and alleviates stress. Stretching releases tension and gives your mind a break which in turn leaves you feeling less overwhelmed.
Short periods of stretching, such as with just 10 to 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 tension and keep the mind and body active. Other benefits include improved flexibility, better balance, corrected posture, fewer aches, decreased muscle stiffness, and preparation of 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 part of the body, especially if you are sitting, driving, or remaining stationary a lot throughout each day. Your glutes are also particularly important to stretch too. If you are sitting a lot your gluteal muscles will begin to shut down and other muscles in your body will become over-worked as a result. The best way to keep this from happening is getting up to stretch regularly in order to wake up these muscles to keep them active.
Tips and Tricks for Stretching
Here are some tips and tricks you should know about in order to incorporate stretching into your life! Remember that while stretching is important, it can lead to injury if you are trying to stretch cold muscles, so be sure to warm 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. It is a good idea to start out nice and slow, and to then build up the pace of the mvoement. You can then reverse this process and slow down in order to end the movement.
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. Yoga also provides countless other benefits to the body and mind, and can help you to feel much calmer and relaxed.
Incorporating stretching into your everyday routine will help you mentally, physically, and overall help you to be happier and healthier. You might find it difficult to find the time to do at first, but once you begin to get into the habit then you won't be able to imagine how you ever went without it each day!