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Get Up And Stretch!

By Laetitia Bouffard Roupe

 

Did you know that regular stretching is just as important as regular muscle strength and cardio exercise?

Are you feeling stressed, tired, or sore?

Then a good stretch is what you need! It will be highly beneficial to your body and mind. Here are 10 reasons to include a stretch in your daily routine.

1. Stress Release

A build up of stress causes your muscles to contract, making you feel tense and anxious. A good example is your neck area. This tension can have a negative impact on the brain as well as your body. Stretching exercises have powerful stress-busting abilities. They also encourage the release of endorphins, providing a sense of calmness and happiness.

2. Fortifies posture

Stretching helps ensure correct posture by lengthening and loosening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, hips and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture by relieving aches and pains.

3. Increases flexibility

The most obvious benefit of stretching is improving flexibility and range of motion. It is usually the reason why people start a stretching program. By improving your range of motion, you will allow more mobility and agility and also will have more flexible tendons and joints. Increased agility provides better balance.

4. Increases stamina

With stretching, you can delay the onset of muscle fatigue by ensuring oxygen is efficiently flowing through your blood, therefore increasing your endurance.

5. Injury Prevention

Stretching will help to get a greater nutrient supply to muscles, therefore reducing muscle soreness and helping to speed recovery from muscle and joint injuries.Stretching has been used in the warm-up process for many years. Dynamic (active) stretches are now recommended for warm-ups over the traditional static stretch.

6. Improves energy levels

Sometimes you may have trouble staying awake during your long, dragging day. If you’re feeling this way then it might help to get out of your seat and do a few good stretches for a boost of energy, helping your mind and body become more alert. Muscles tighten when we get tired and that makes us feel even more lethargic, so feel free to stand up and do some stretches. It will help you to quickly and efficiently revitalize your energy levels.

7. Promotes blood circulation

Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth and organ function. The heart rate will also decrease since it doesn’t have to work as hard and blood pressure will become more even and consistent.

8. Improves athletic performance

If your muscles are already contracted because you haven’t stretched, then they will be less effective during exercise. Regular stretching will relax all of your muscles, making them more available during exercise.

9. Reduces soreness

Stretching before and after a workout gives your muscles time to relax. It increases the blood flow and nutrient supply to the muscles and relieves soreness in the muscles after a workout.

10. Enhances sleep quality

Static stretching before going to bed will help relieve some tightness or cramping you may feel during the night. This way, you’ll have a better chance of actually falling asleep in the first place.

Hopefully these reasons will inspire you to make stretching a part of your daily routine!

 

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