The Importance of Stretching
Before we talk about the mental benefits of stretching, let’s first discuss its effects on the body.
Flexibility is the body’s ability to move the joints in a certain range of motion. If you want to check your flexibility, you can try reaching your toes when bending forward. If you cannot reach your toes, you may have stiff muscles.
Without stretching, your muscles may get tight or they may shorten. Hence, if you stretch regularly, you can improve your flexibility over time.
When you stretch, you significantly add more synovial fluid which lubricates your joints.
Helps in Increasing Your Efficiency
When you are flexible, your movements are more efficient because you need less energy to move in a wider range of motion. On top of that, stretching also results in increased coordination.
Think about someone who has a stiff back. Typically, they will move more slowly because even normal movements may hurt them. This considerably decreases their efficiency when performing daily activities.
Helps in Achieving Proper Posture
Many people do not know it, but stretching also strengthens the muscles and helps align them. Hence, with regular (preferably, daily) stretching exercises, your posture will be less of a slouch and more upright.
Stretching Can Prevent Injuries
Many athletes and gymnasts know that the importance of stretching extends to injury prevention.
Think about it, some people injure themselves when they make sudden movements while others are not hurt at all. Experts say that injuries happen because the muscles “resist.”
Improving flexibility, which increases the range of motion by which the joints can move, will help decrease the resistance. Therefore, it will help in injury prevention.
Stretching Reduces Soreness and Relieves Pain
Do you feel sore especially after a hard work out, game, or sport? If so, you might want to stretch a little bit since it can increase blood supply to the muscles. What is even better is that as your muscles receive more blood, they will also receive more nutrients. This helps soothe soreness.
Additionally, after working out, you may feel a little achy due to muscle tightness. When you stretch, the muscles “loosen up,” helping to decrease the pain.
The Mental Benefits of Stretching
Now that we have talked about the benefits of stretching to the body, let’s discuss its mental benefits.