Want to prevent slouching? Better start stretching!
That, of course, is not the only benefit that regular stretching delivers. As well as your posture, stretching helps your body and mind in a multitude of ways. Let’s explore a few of them, and get you started with your own stretching routine.
Well-stretched muscles can reach their full range of motion with more ease and less chance of injury. Increasing your flexibility and mobility helps with everyday functional activities, such as reaching down to pick up a pen, picking up your pet, or carrying heavy shopping bags.
With increased range of motion in your joints comes better balance. Keeping your balance system healthy with consistent stretching will allow you to move freely and confidently, improving everything from your athletic performance to staying upright on a moving train without falling onto a stranger’s lap (we’ve all been there).
From sprinting to jumping, studies show that stretching also improves performance in physical activities. For example, having your full range of motion to kick a football or serve in tennis is evidently more effective than restricted movements with stiff muscles.
A good stretch series not only provides relief for tight, tired muscles, it also works on a deeper level. Breathing fully through each move (exhaling into deeper stretches) will relax your body and mind by putting your nervous system into a parasympathetic state.
Stretching is a simple way to increase blood flow, boost oxygen levels, deliver nutrients to muscles, and remove metabolic waste (looking at you: carbon dioxide, ammonia, and uric acid). If better circulation doesn’t make you want to limber up, nothing will.
Tight muscles can lead to strained muscles. Stretching helps heal and prevent back pain, tension headaches, musculoskeletal aches, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), and so much more. Just ask a physiotherapist.
With a body full of muscles, where do we begin? Start here, start today — this 6-stretch flow, at least 3 or 4 times per week can help you reap the rewards above.