Stretching isn’t just for athletes. Whether you run marathons on the weekend or spend your days behind a desk, daily stretching provides a variety of benefits for everyone. Implementing stretching into your daily routine is easy and doesn’t take more than a few minutes.
Explore these six benefits of Regular stretching that will help you improve your well-being.
1. Better Posture
Posture and balance greatly impact our lives. Poor posture can lead to back and neck problems, muscle degeneration and chronic pain. A good rule of thumb is to stretch and get up from your desk every 30 minutes.
Can’t tear yourself away from work? There are plenty of stretches you can do at your desk to increase blood flow and reduce aches and pains.
2. Prevent Injury
Lack of movement causes muscles to wear down over time, leading to a greater risk of strain and tears. Regular stretching will help maintain your muscle strength, reduce degeneration and improve your overall range of motion.
Your increased flexibility will reduce your likelihood of pulling a muscle or getting hurt when you lift something or exercise. Our balance naturally declines as we get older, but regular stretching and exercise can improve and maintain it.
3. Reduce Stress
Stretching can help loosen your neck and shoulders. When people are stressed, their muscles tense up due to the increased production of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Frequent, high levels of stress can lead to a variety of health problems including musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of heart attack.
Stretching can help you destress by loosening your muscles and refocusing your mind on the present.
4. Improve Your Athletic Performance
Stretching isn’t just a warmup. You should consider your stretching routine an integral part of your workout. Stretching will improve your blood circulation, lengthen and strengthen your muscles and help you build up endurance.
Even if you consider yourself a casual gym-goer, stretching is vital.
5. Treat Headaches
Tension headaches affect around 3 percent of the U.S. population, so it’s no wonder people are desperate for a natural remedy. Stretching can alleviate stress headaches and make you feel more relaxed.
Poor posture can worsen tension headaches, so incorporating stretches that help improve your natural stance will also combat the frequency of your headaches.
6. Wake Up With Ease
It’s hard to simply throw off the covers and rush out of bed the minute your alarm goes off. A morning stretching routine will make it much easier to start your day. You can do plenty of morning stretches right in bed to help wake up your muscles, reduce back pain and set a positive tone for day ahead.
You might not have the time or the energy to stretch for 30 minutes a day, and that’s fine. Even a five or 10-minute practice can make a huge difference in your overall well-being. Start off with some simple stretches today that will help you clear your head, destress and help you feel more limber.