Adding stretching to your daily routine can be one of the most helpful things you do for your body. Taking just 5 minutes of your day to maintain your flexibility has numerous benefits for both your body and your mind.
1. Improve circulation
When you are working and stretching your muscles, blood flow around the body increases. This leads to your joints and tissues getting the important nutrients they need while waste products get taken away. As a result, your muscles will become more efficient which is why stretching is used as a method of both warming up and recovering after exercise.
2. Increase flexibility
Having a larger range of motion of your joints and muscles is the most noticeable and established benefit of stretching. This can be of particular importance for people with sedentary lifestyles. An increase in flexibility is closely accompanied by better balance and coordination. Overall leading to a looser and mobile body.
Tense and inflexible limbs are often the cause of injuries as they are not accustomed to motion and stretching. Use stretching as a tool to avoid injuries and stay safe when exercising or even doing regular activities.
3. Correct your posture
A good stretching routine which includes your lower back, neck and shoulders will help correct your posture over time. Working to loosen up your torso will reduce things like having hunched shoulders and may even be a long term solution for back pain.
Having a good posture will not only have advantages for your appearance but also will aid you in avoiding joint problems later in your life.
4. Decrease stress
Stress is associated with having tense and tight muscles in your body. Think of stretching as a way to release this tension in your body and the associated stress that you feel. Like all types of exercise, stretching to improve your flexibility will help calm your mind and release surges of good hormones around your body.
Chronic pain can often arise in parts of your body which are particularly tense. By focusing on the areas where you feel most tense, you will get the most benefit from stretching.
To properly gain and maintain flexibility, it is recommended to stretch 3-4 times a week, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Be aware of your body and be sure not to push the stretches too hard, especially if you’re just getting started out.