To improve our level of health and fitness, many athletes and nutritionists emphasize on the importance of cardiovascular and strength training exercises and can easily overlook flexibility training (the yogis know the importance of flexibility). Flexibility is a critical component of health and fitness and an overall balanced body.
A series of studies support the short and long-term benefits of different forms of stretching such as dynamic stretching, static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation commonly known as PNF.
So, why should you stretch every day? Here are a few reasons you need to make stretching part of your daily routine.
Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it and that a yoga practice can give you the stretching you need, and also increase your strength in the process.
Benefits of daily stretching include:
It can be to get stressed out and frustrated in a faster speed world (or in times of a global pandemic). Chronic stress has several negative effects on the body which include fatigue, anxiety, and tension. By stretching for a few minutes every day, you’ll reduce muscle tension and help alleviate anxiety and depression. Consider combining your flexibility exercises with breathing techniques, like in yoga.
Decreases Blood Pressure
The majority of people think that stretching affects your muscles only. This is not true because research shows that it enhances the flexibility of your arteries and veins. A study conducted by the Japanese found that people who could bend over and touch their toes had very flexible arteries, unlike their counterparts who couldn’t. Relieving tension also helps people with hypertension. Another way to reduce your blood pressure is by practicing yoga.
Reduces the Risk of Injury
Stretching helps in reducing the risk of injury. All bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts know the importance of a warm-up before lifting weights. Increasing the body temperature before exercising helps the body make adequate preparations for what is about to happen. That’s why stretching has always been considered a critical part of preventing injuries. Cold tendons and muscles are more likely to strain and rapture.
Enhanced Range of Motion
Various stretching exercises and other supportive strategies like self-myofascial using a foam roller, usually help in enhancing the range of movement of the major body joints including key mobile areas such as shoulders and hips. An enhanced range of motion allows you to do more things with ease in everyday life.
Minimizes the Wear and Tear of Joints
When muscles become tense and tight, opposing muscles usually get weakened and this leads to wear and tear on various structures and joints in the body. By stretching regularly, you’ll ensure that all the muscles surrounding a joint maintain a uniform degree of pull. This enables the joints to move freely and effectively in all directions. When you do this, you not only enhance the range of motion but also relieve stress on the body.
Reduces Pain and Stiffness
Excess muscular tension increases discomfort in the body. However, several studies show that performing flexibility exercises regularly helps in relieving pain and decreasing stiffness especially if the individual is experiencing chronic pain on the neck or back or frequent muscle cramps. Stretching increases blood flow and supply of nutrients to the muscles to relieve muscle soreness.
Stretching helps in correcting one's posture by increasing the length of tight muscles throughout the body. Tight muscles usually pull several areas of the body into misalignment, so more flexible muscles allow for more space for the body to find it's intended and optimal position.
For instance, spending countless hours behind a computer screen leads to tight chest muscles that pull the head and shoulders forward leaving a hunched look. When you start doing flexibility exercises, you’ll keep your chest, shoulders and spine muscles aligned, and this will also help eliminate body pains.
Better Athletic Performance
If you fail to stretch after a hard fitness workout session, your muscles will start contracting instead of expanding. And this will make your exercises ineffective in the long run. By stretching regularly, you’ll relax your muscles and they’ll be more available during your next workout session. When this happens, you’ll easily make the most out of your workout sessions.
Tips to Stretch Safely and Effectively:
• It’s important to relax and breathe normally when doing yoga or any flexibility exercise
• All flexibility exercises should be slowly. Avoid bouncy or jerky movements as this can lead to muscle tightness and injuries in the long run.
• Be patient. As you stretch frequently, you’ll become more flexible. At times, you’ll experience a pulling feeling but this is normal. If you experience a sharp pain or joint pain, you should stop immediately to avoid injury.
Regular exercising and stretching play a critical role in our lives. As we continue aging, it’s very important to include flexibility exercises in our workout programs to enjoy the benefits listed above. Stretching not only reduces the risk of injury but also improves the quality of life.
By David Collins
David is a professional essay writer at professional essay writers and essay writing service. He is also a blogger from Virginia who publishes for assignment help and best dissertation writing service.
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