We hear a lot about the benefits of daily workouts, but not all physical activity has to be intense exercise! Stretching is an easy way to get moving. It improves your blood flow, brain function, and overall health!
Here are some reasons you should stretch every day, whether it’s at your workstation, in your home, or at the gym!
Stretching Every Day:
- Increases your flexibility
You don’t have to become a yoga master to enjoy the health benefits of stretching every day. Simple tasks like tying your shoes, cleaning your house, and playing with your family get easier when you are flexible.
- Improves your range of motion
Have you ever reached for the office phone or a box of cookies on the top shelf and felt a twinge of pain in your muscles? That is a sign that you were reaching beyond your range of motion. Stretching can help you get to those snacks pain-free, and keep your mobile even as you age!
- Improves Circulation
Stretching helps your circulation by boosting the blood flow to your muscles, which strengthens them and improves recovery time.
- Helps Your Posture
Our muscles develop to balance each other out, but poor posture can cause imbalance and make the problem worse. If you tend to slouch forward at your desk, your chest muscles can weaken, making your back muscles overcompensate and strain. Stretching gives all of your muscles a chance to develop evenly as you work each part of your body.
- Relaxes Tense Muscles to Relieve Stress
When we get stressed we tense up our muscles without even realizing it! In turn, our tense muscles cause pain and discomfort, only to stress us out even more. Stretching helps you relax both your mind and body.
- Helps You Avoid Injuries
If we don’t stretch, our range of motion becomes limited. Even simple household accidents like a shortfall down some steps can push your range of motion to the extreme! Stretching helps you react to situations that arise while keeping injuries to a minimum.
- Decreases Anxiety
Therapists recommend both physical activity and mindfulness exercises to decrease anxiety in your day-to-day life. Combine it with deep breathing exercises, and stretching is an easy way to help both your physical AND mental health.
- Improves Focus
When your body feels relaxed, you can focus better! Not only that, but the increased blood flow to your brain also helps you think clearer and more positively.
- Helps you sleep
Stretching throughout the day is shown to help you sleep better. Gentle stretches in bed can even help you sleep better, by minimizing sleep-interrupting cramps and helping you get your mind off the stresses of your day.
- Increases overall awareness of your health
Every time you stretch, you are checking in with your body and looking out for your health. Even if it’s a quick pause at your desk to relieve a stiff elbow, you’re playing an active role in your own well-being and making a positive decision for your health. This can lead to improvements in other areas of your life, too!
While the American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching at least 3 times a week, why not try it every day? With all of the benefits it offers, you can make it a daily healthy habit!