May 07, 2018
3 Benefits of Stretching
by Bryan Schubert
The body is flexible. It is supposed to be flexible. You should be able to bend over and reach that thing you dropped on the floor. You should be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. You should be able to reach that book or grocery item you need on the top shelf.
These are simple activities. Nothing grand about them, you merely stretched out a bit. However, if there are difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you have some issues with your range of motion, and you need a stretching program.
Stretching is an easy, natural movement that can be done by anyone, regardless of age.
However, the extent of stretching and flexing differs. The muscles tighten as a person ages. The range of joint movements can be minimized. That’s why as we get older, bending or flexing becomes more limited. It’s also why stretching regularly, as part of a routine, is very important.
Simple stretches can be done everyday. It can (and should) be incorporated into your everyday life, as it does not require much of your time.
Stretching exercises can also be done while training. Actually, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It should be done first, before anything else, to prepare your body for the coming activity.
Most athletes do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Most trainers and coaches require their athletes to really stretch before playing.
The ideal length of time to stretch before your event or exercise is 10 minutes. This will give the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.
Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching for 30 minutes or more could cause discomfort and or injury.
What Are the Benefits of Stretching?
1. Increase in Range of Motion
As you stretch, the length of the muscles and the tendons are increased. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Increasing your range of motion can help boost energy, reduce injury, and make everyday tasks easier.
2. Reduce Muscle Tension
Daily stretching of the muscles can help relieve any pain or soreness from previous exercise.
3. Reduce Cholesterol
Research has shown that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce cholesterol in the body, when combined with a healthy diet. This could help prevent the hardening of the arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It’s benefits can’t be denied, and it doesn’t require a lot of your time. After all, your fitness is everything, so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.
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