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Benefits of stretching

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Everyone knows that stretching is an integral part of any exercise routine. But did you know it’s important to stretch everyday, regardless if you’re working out or not?

Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities such as bending down to pick up your child or to put the washing out, just as much as it is to go for a run or kick a ball. If your muscles are tight and stiff, any activity is harder to perform and you put yourself at a greater risk of injury.

Not only is stretching great for your body and its performance, it’s also great for your mind too.

We’re going to explore some of the benefits of stretching to your health and wellbeing:

Increases flexibility and range of motion

Stretching helps to improve muscle and joint movement. This allows you to perform everyday activities with more ease and delays the reduction in mobility that occurs as we age.

Improves posture

Poor posture can be characterized by a cross pattern of tight and weak muscles in our back and neck. A combination of stretching and strengthening specific muscles such as the pectorals or hip flexors can encourage proper alignment.

Improves circulation

Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. This helps to provide the muscle tissue with oxygen and minerals for optimum rest and repair as well as remove waste and byproducts, allowing you to recover easier from activity and injury.

Feel more energized

Because stretching promotes increased blood flow, oxygen and nutrients travel to the brain for a clearer and happier mind. This makes you feel more refreshed and energized.

Stress relief

Have you ever noticed at the end of a long day your shoulders feel like there up around your ears? During times of physical or emotional stress muscles tighten as a defensive strategy, making you feel tense, tight and stiff. Stretching helps to relieve the muscular tension so you don’t feel as overwhelmed.

Prevents injury

Think of your muscles like a rubber band, the shorter and tighter that rubber band is, the less force it produces and the more likely it is to break. Your muscles are similar to that rubber band; when they’re tense and shortened, their ability to move through their full range of motion is decreased and you become more susceptible to strains and injury.

Relieve pains

Stretching the hamstrings or hip flexors can help to relieve stress on the lumbar spine to decrease low back pain.  Stretching the neck and shoulders to relieve tension may also help headaches.

Dr Nicole Hudson

Principal Chiropractor | Connect Chiropractic

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