Just about everyone knows that stretching exercises are supposed to be good for you, but what are the actual benefits of this low-impact form of exercise? Let’s explore the benefits of stretching as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of Muscle Stretching
Staying supple and flexible
As we get older, we notice that we’re not as flexible as we used to be. Our joints don’t seem to be able to move as they used to and as a result, we injure ourselves more easily when performing day to day tasks. Stretching really does ‘loosen up the joints’, it’s not just a figure of speech. Regular stretching exercise improves the range of motion in the joints. That’s because our muscles tend to shorten with the passage of time and stretching them is the best way to combat this effect. You’ll also be less likely to suffer from muscle and joint injuries.
In today’s busy world, most of us tend to suffer from stress and aching muscles. Not only do stretching exercises help to relax tense, sore muscles, they also contribute to our mental well-being. Even though stretching is not strenuous, your body will produce endorphins that add to the feel-good effect.
Improved flow of blood helps us to heal faster and eliminate toxins from the body. Regular stretching improves the circulation of blood and helps to keep us healthy. If you’re working out, you’ll find that stretching will help to reduce stiffness and pain after exercise and that’s thanks to improved circulation.
When our muscles are tight, we tend to adjust our posture unconsciously. Unfortunately, this often leads to poor posture which creates other problems, compounding the initial problem of stiff muscles. Stretching loosens up tense muscles and improves posture as a result.
Relief from lower back pain
In part, the relief of lower back pain through stretching is a knock on effect of improved posture, but stretching also helps to make the lower back muscles stronger. Many of us suffer from lower back pain and end up spending a fortune on various therapies when simply stretching can go a long way towards providing relief.
Preventing sports injuries
Stretching isn’t a real warm-up and sports therapists differ in their opinions as to whether it really works to reduce the chance of injuries. This said, the improvement in overall flexibility alone should mean you stand less chance of injuring yourself regardless of whether you stretch before exercise or at some other time.
It is interesting to note that each of the benefits described above can also be attributed to regular massage and in fact, massage complements stretching extremely well when it comes to maintaining muscle health. If you have been experiencing muscle pain and/or tension, consider developing a regular stretching routine and booking yourself in for a massage. Contact us for an appointment today!