Why stretching should become a part of your daily routine?

Important | 2021-03-30

Often we think of stretching as a part of workout routine, which many people are tend to skip even. However, stretching muscles properly is important not only for sports, but also a great help in daily routine, since it has a positive impact on the body and overall well-being!

Regular stretching helps to keep the muscles flexible, strong and healthy, which is important in order to increase joint mobility. If the the amplitude of movement is low or decreased, the muscles shrink and strain that results in joint pain, muscle sprains and injuries. In other words, stretching warms up the muscles and warm muscles are more flexible, making the muscles more responsive to moves or excersise.

Stretching can be static and dynamic. Static stretching requires to strain the muscles to the point of feeling discomfort, but without feeling pain. During the stretch muscles are strained in one position for 15-30 seconds without moving and repeated several times. It is important to take breaks and allow muscles to relax before repeating the motion. Meanwhile, dynamic stretching is more used among athletes. It also improves flexibility and helps to reduce the risks of injuries, but it is movement-based type stretching, such as walking high knees or circle your arms.

Benefits of stretching

  1. Increases flexibility and mobility. The nervous system learns how to tolerate greater strain in muscle before sending a pain signal. In other words, the body adapts to frequent moves tha allows to increase in muscle tension.
  2. Helps to relax muscles. Stretching after exercise helpd to reduce muscle tone and relax them.
  3. Reduces stress. When you experience stress, there is a good chance that your muscles are tense. This is because your muscles tend to stain in response to physical and emotional stress. Stretching the parts of your body that feels the most stress, such as neck, shoulders, and upper back, can reduce the emotional tention.
  4. Improves the posture. Imbalance in muscles are common and can lead to bad posture. Therefore, strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce pain muscles and bones that encourages proper alisgnement. This  can help to improve the posture.
  5. Reduces the back pain. Often lower back pain is caused by a heavy load on the spine. Therefore, tight muscles can decrease the range of motion, which increase the posibility to stain back muscles. Which is why stretching can help can to reduce the load on the spine.
  6. Improves the perfromance. Doing dynamic stretching before physical activity helps to prepare the muscles for higher load, which helps to increase the efficiency of physical activity.
  7. Improves blood circulation. Regular stretching can improve circulation that increases blood flow to the muscles. This helps to recover faster and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (also known as DOMS).
  8. Reduces the risk of injury. Stretching helps to decrease resistance in the tissues surrounding the joint, thus reducing the risk of injury.

Stretching for beginners

Upper-body stretching (shoulder, neck and back)

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keep knees and hips relaxed. Grasp your fingers and stretch your arms over your head, facing palms up. Take 10 slow and deep breaths, prolonging the stretch of each exhale. Relax and repeat again.

Lower back stretching

Lie down on your back, bend your knees at  90- to 120-degree angle, and place your feet on the floor. Lift your buttocks off the floor and hold this position for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and rest for 10 seconds before you lift your buttocks again. Repeat this motion 5-10 times.

The Cat-dog stretching (back muscles)

Stand on your arms and knees (arms put directly under your shoulders, knees under your hips and keep the back straight). Strain the abdominal muscles, bend your back and press your chin against the chest while looking down. Keep your muscles tight and hold it for about 10 seconds. Don’t forget to take deep breaths. Then release the tention and slowly return to starting position. Repeat it 5-10 times.

Whether you are beginner or an experienced athlete, you will feel the benefits of stretching even with the simplest of exercises. However, keep in mind that body needs time to get used to stretching as any other form of physical activity. Therefore, it‘s important not to exaggerate and strat stretching routine slowly, otherwise you risk to get injury. Try to spend 5-10 minutes a day stretching even though you’re not doing sports that day. Just keep stretching regularly and you will see how quickly you increase your flexibility, improve posture, reduce tension and brighten your mind!

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