Most people engage in stretching to warm up their body before exercise, but including stretching in your daily routine has some amazing benefits that will not only help you in the gym, but can also improve your balance, recovery time, and overall health.
Promotes blood circulation
The better your circulation, the better your overall health will be. Great circulation reduces your heart rate since your heart won’t have to work as hard to pump blood through your body. This will also help to even out your blood pressure. As the blood flows to your muscles, it brings nourishment and clears the waste by products in your muscle tissue to help with recovery. With better circulation, your body becomes more efficient.
Tight muscles can pull parts of your body from their intended position. Keeping the muscles in your back and torso loose in particular will help keep your spine aligned, since it doesn’t have to work against tight muscles to stay nice and straight. The better aligned your spine is, the less pain you will experience from hunching and slouching.
Regular stretching not only helps to prevent injury, but can also increase your stamina by maximising your muscle strength. The improved circulation that comes from stretching also increases the nutrients and oxygen to your cartilage and muscles, which helps to fend off muscle fatigue and improve your stamina.
Reduces muscle pain
Stretching will also help to reduce muscle soreness, for the same reasons that it helps to increase stamina. Increased blood flow from stretching allows for an increase in oxygen and nutrients making their way to the muscles, which reduces the likelihood of muscle soreness, especially after a workout. Keeping the muscles loose with stretching can relieve a lot of the tightness that can cause cramps and spasms.
Improve athletic performance
Dynamic stretching, which is stretching that is performed through movement and will increase your heart rate, can help to improve your overall athletic performance when done before and after your workout. By increasing your blood flow, oxygen flow, and muscle temperature, you will see a better range of movement, along with greater force and power when engaging in athletic style movements.
Stress often manifests itself through muscle tension and stiffness. Stretching can help to lengthen the muscles and ease that tension. The increased blood flow and oxygen levels from stretching and exercise also help to improve mood and relieve stress. Taking a few moments to loosen up and relax each day can be beneficial for keeping stress at bay, and clearing your mind of the day to day frustrations!