Calms the Mind
Aside from reducing stress, clearing the mind is also one of the mental benefits of stretching. Of course, this benefit does not come without effort.
Experts advise that to calm the mind while stretching, you need to incorporate it into other exercises such as meditation and breathing techniques.
Reports even indicate that if you want a “new outlook,” you can consider stretching for a few minutes.
Stretching Makes You Feel Better
Studies show that when you stretch, your body releases the endorphins, also known as the happy hormone. Not only do endorphins help in pain relief, but they also give you a certain feeling of happiness.
Think about running. After running a certain distance for your workout, you often feel happy because you have accomplished something. The same is true with stretching.
The Health Impact of Skipping Stretching
If you do not stretch regularly, you may experience a lack of flexibility due to your muscles’ limited range of motion. This will lead to several other negative effects like pain, inefficiency, and even injuries.
The other health impacts of not stretching are:
It Leads to Unhealthy Joints
Doctors say that for the joints to maintain their optimal health, they must have adequate blood and nutrient supply. Additionally, they must also move with their full range of motion.
Although you can improve circulation through other forms of exercise, stretching is still considered the best work out for your joints.
You May Get Tired Easily
Inflexible muscles, according to reports, tire more easily. This is because the muscle groups have to work harder. Remember as well that fatigued muscles are more prone to injury.
It Affects Even Distant Structures
Inflexible muscles may affect or put stress even on the distant structures. According to UC Davis Health, one example that proves this effect is that tendonitis in the knee may be connected to the tightness of the calf.
Do Warm Up Exercises Really Prevent Injury?
Before you can finally realize the importance of stretching to the body and its physical and mental benefits, take note of the following reminders:
- Stretching is an exercise on its own, so it is technically not a warm-up activity.
- The truth is you need to warm-up before performing stretches.
- Examples of good warm-up activities are taking a short walk or jogging lightly.
- Breathing is an important part of stretching. Doctors say that you must breathe normally while doing stretching workouts.
- When stretching, always keep your joints at least slightly bent. Keeping them in a hard, straight position may cause injury.
- Stretching should be done slowly and smoothly. Don’t rush and don’t jerk your muscles.
Finally, many experts suggest including the following muscle groups when stretching as they contribute a lot in increasing flexibility:
Once you have decided on the appropriate stretching exercises for you, try to do them 3 to 5 times for each session. If you follow the tips discussed above, you will be able to improve your flexibility and enjoy a great range of motion.
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