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John Midgett
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Monday, August 13, 2018

The Underrated Benefits of Stretching

Fitness

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Many people are tempted to skip the stretching session before or after your workout, but did you know that stretching has many benefits and plays a large part in a persons health?  There are many short and longterm benefits of daily stretching.  Even if you dont plan on breaking a sweat, its important to stretch your muscles.  Here are some of the many perks stretching provides:

Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion in Muscles and Joints

This is the most obvious benefit of stretching and most often why people start.  Regular activities and everyday responsibilities are performed much more easily when muscles are not tight.  Daily stretching can increase the flexibility in your tendons (these connect your muscles and bones together) and keep your joints moving through their full range of motion.  This protects you against injuries like tennis elbow or runners knee.

Stretching Creates Less Stress

Stress is inevitable in our world today.  Stress leads to anxiety, tension, and headaches.  Did you know that stress can reduce blood flow? This can cause uncomfortable tension and knots throughout your body.   A great way to relieve stress and all its side effects: try stretching which increases blood flow. Try incorporating yoga into your daily routine.  The combined breathing techniques and stretching is a great way to physically and mentally handle tension.

Stretching Helps Improve Circulation

Increase your blood flow by stretching.  Start your mornings or kick that sluggish afternoon feeling with stretching.  Blood brings your muscles the needed nutrients, nourishment, and oxygen. It also flushes away any waste and toxins.  Consistent stretching can help your circulation regulate which can help shorten recovery time on muscle injuries.

Get More Out of Your Workout

Daily stretching can help improve your form when exercising.  If you are more flexible, you, for example, are able to get a deeper squat or lunge, thus seeing better results faster.  Not only that, but stretching is thought to minimize the soreness followed by workouts. Soreness has been credited to micro-tears in muscles caused by exercise.  Stretching prior and post workout is thought to minimize this damage.

Protection Against Injury

Flexible muscles can help prevent injuries.  It is recommended that you warm up prior to physical activity to protect yourself against any injuries large or small.  Stretching helps warm up your muscles. Regular stretching can also improve your balance and coordination which helps keep you agile, thus less likely to become injured.

Stretching Promotes Better Sleep

Laying in one position for a long period of time can make you feel stiff and sore.  Try stretching 30 or so minutes before you hit the sack. This could help relieve some tightness or soreness you might feel during the night.  An added benefit to stretching before bed is the reduction of stress youll feel.  This can aid in falling asleep faster.

Stretching Improves Posture

Tight, tense muscles do not allow for proper posture and lead to muscle imbalances.  By stretching, you are able to loosen your rigid muscles and lengthen them; these things aid in maintaining proper posture.  Good posture will help eliminate discomfort, aches, and pains.

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