Whether you close up your office for the day or finish a grueling day of physical labor, stretching seems to help get rid of the stress built up in your body. It brings a feeling of relief and when accompanied by a yawn, can help you relax or get your blood flowing to boost your cognitive functioning. There are other benefits of stretching. It’s the body’s natural reaction to relax tense muscles and prepare it for the next action.
Cats know just what to do.
Anyone who owns a cat, or rather is owned by a cat, knows they stretch a lot before they move. They reach out and stretch every part of their body. Why do they do that? It’s a natural reaction that helps get blood flowing to the extremities and boost circulation. If you’re prone to muscle injuries, take a lesson from cats. Stretch before you exert yourself to warm your muscles. Stretching also helps eliminate waste products from the muscle tissues. That’s why stretching is a natural reaction when you first wake up.
Protect your muscles from injury by increasing your range of motion.
If you lack a big range of motion, the potential for sprains and strains increases. How do you increase that range? Stretching the muscles. The more you stretch the muscles, the more flexible you become and the less potential you have for muscle strains or tears. With a limited range of motion, simple tasks like bending over to pick up something on the floor can leave you debilitated for weeks. Working on maintaining or achieving flexibility is important and the best way to do that is by stretching.
Your posture plays a role in body aches and pain. Stretching improves your posture.
Poor posture is responsible for a wide range of conditions, which include headaches, poor balance, breathing difficulties, constipation, heartburn and even incontinence. It can affect mood, sleep, jaw alignment and cause fatigue. While overall fitness improves posture, part of that includes stretching to increase range of motion. Improved posture also helps you look thinner, reduces back pain and allows you to breathe deeper.
- As mentioned before, stretching increases your range of motion. That increase to a full range of motion can help you improve your balance, which reduces the number of falls. The older you are, the more important stretching becomes.
- There are several types of stretching, but the two most often used are static and dynamic stretching. Stretch and hold exercises, like touching your toes or a calf stretch are considered static stretching. Dynamic stretching involves movement, such as lunges.
- Dynamic stretching is good for a warm up, static stretching isn’t necessarily as good. Dynamic stretches get the blood flowing to the muscles, while static stretching relaxes the muscles which can impede performance.
- People who have a sedentary job should get up and stretch every hour. It helps reduce the potential for lower back pain and can even help reduce pain if you already have a problem.
For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance