November ‘22 Health & Wellbeing Blog! The Benefits of Stretching
To stretch is to simply stretch or flex a specific muscle or muscle group in such a manner that will improve elasticity within that muscle.
It is a myth that stretching is only required of those who play sport or train frequently. It is becoming increasingly more important to stretch daily for those that have a sedentary lifestyle or sit at a desk all day.
What Are The Benefits of Stretching?
Helps your joints move through their full range of motion
Stretching increases the elasticity of muscles and therefore increase the range of motion in which your joints can move through. This will drastically improve your functioning in many daily activities. As you stretch and improve your range of motion, this has been found to vastly slow down the degeneration of your muscles as you get older. Have you ever woken in the morning and had a real urge to stretch? Or been sat in the same position for too long and feel the need to stretch out with your arms? The muscles actually begin to lose tone and fluid collects in certain areas, particularly the back, when sitting or laying in the same position for too long. Stretching will slowly massage fluid back into the right places, hence why it feels so good to stretch sometimes.
Reduces the risk of injury
A supple and more elastic muscle is much less likely to be injured. This is because stretching increases the range of motion through the joints and therefore decreases the resistance in muscles during certain movements. Stretching also prepares the muscle by loosening and activating it, which then offers better protection during any impact during physical activity.
Stretching massively improves blood circulation throughout the body by increasing the blood supply to your muscles and joints. This will also aid the passing of nutrients to the muscles. It also flushes metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide and uric acid. The compression and subsequent decompression on the veins and blood vessels during stretching it also attributed to enhanced circulation.
Muscles that are properly stretched are less tense, therefore relieving stress. Muscular tension can effectively cut off the optimal amount of blood supply to that muscle, this will make your muscles and yourself feel tense. If you don’t believe me; try stretching for 10 minutes in the morning, being cognisant of how you felt prior to stretching and afterwards!
As detailed above, stretching promotes blood flow, in turn, your posture promotes blood flow, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and your brain. Sitting at your desk hunched over for prolonged periods or undertaking a generally sedentary lifestyle is seriously bad for your posture over time and can cause damaging long-term effects on the body. A good solid posture is also proven to be attributable to confidence. Walking tall and proud, with shoulders pinned back and a nice straight back increases confidence!
How Should I stretch?
Follow along with these 4 routines below, please let me know how you get on and ask if you need something more specific to you.
I hope you gained some benefit from this blog and I look forward to engaging with you soon.
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