Holy hamstrings! I am tighter than tight these days especially my lower body and shoulders. I know I need to incorporate stretching daily as much as I do strength training. If for no other reason than stretching for 5-10 minutes a day can give you some amazing benefits that will improve workouts and overall health.
My body is upset with me. I have found that when I am taking Bikram Yoga or Pilates, I am at my best. But because I am not stretching daily or in Bikram, my body needs work.
I’m not necessarily talking about mindless stretching either. Stretching can involve the entire body. If done right, stretching daily can be integrated with the training you are doing now.
6 benefits of stretching daily that will help you
Stretching increases strength by improving circulation and blood flow to the muscles. This not only provides greater nutrients to every muscle of the body but helps those muscles recover faster in between workouts. The increased blood flow helps prevent soreness and muscles fatigue during recovery periods and allows for more frequent high-intensity workouts.
Stretching is the most effective way to improve flexibility. Watch out not to overstretch though – overly flexible muscles are injury prone and give you a sloppiness when moving.
Good for circulation
Lengthening and loosening the muscles helps dramatically with circulation. This will help reduce post-workout soreness and shorten recovery time and improve overall health. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth and organ function.
Stretching reduces stress by loosening the muscles and relieving built up tension. It also releases endorphins in the brain that can cause a feeling of wellbeing and calmness.
Increases range of motion
An increased range of motion in the joints has many benefits and stretching is the best way to achieve this.
Eliminates Lactic Acid
Muscle fatigue and soreness occurs due to the lactic acid produced by the body when you start exercising. Stretching helps to get rid of it and relaxes the muscles.
Does stretching daily take a lot of time?
No, it doesn’t. A stretching routine can take as little as 5 minutes, which we all have. You can do some dynamic stretching while in the kitchen cooking, in the living room watching TV or in the bathroom brushing your teeth. Static stretching doesn’t require a lot of time either.
You have all seen people with tight hunched up postures. This comes from a lack of stretching and normally overdoing it with weight training or sitting at desks hunched over all day. Be sure to give yourself a good stretch, breathing into the muscle you’re stretching to further increase the stretch.
How often do you stretch?