In my experience as a physical fitness buff, I have seen how people tend to forget to stretch. Perhaps that’s because there is not enough certainty of its benefits since they aren’t evident. Unlike when you run, you see the pounds going or when you lift weights, you see the bulks developing. But let me reiterate that stretching, like your regular exercise, is an important part of a fitness journey.
Stretching does not benefit the body only but the mind as well. That is why yoga or pilates are very effective in giving that soothing, calming effect, physically and mentally. Both involve a lot of stretching, don’t they? Each session is a tension-release moment and that’s just a fraction of the benefits of stretching.
Let me go on then and share with you the top 6 reasons why you should stretch.
- Trains the body to deal with pain.
Exercising exposes your muscles to different aches and pain. Stretching allows good flow of blood where it is badly needed, providing enough oxygen so that you are able to bear with muscle soreness.
- Promotes faster healing.
Have you heard of muscle fever or DOMS (delayed onset muscle syndrome)? It is a common experience following a strenuous physical activity. When muscles are exerted, toxins are produced. Stretching moves these toxins towards the bloodstream to be crashed and eliminated helping the body to recover faster.
- Defense against injuries.
Stretching after an exercise makes your body flexible. Flexibility readies you better for the next workout schedule keeping you free of injury and other accidental wear and tear of ligaments.
- Helps strengthen and extend muscles.
This is another valid reason why I encourage you to stretch. You see those well-developed muscles that look kind of stunted? That’s because they don’t get regular stretching. When you stretch, you achieve toned muscles that don’t look underdeveloped.
- Gives a calming effect.
I just can’t get enough of how soothed I feel after a good stretch – body and mind! Give it a try and you will certainly know what I mean.
- Improves overall well-being.
Stretching lowers your risk of falling because of improved posture, balance and coordination. As someone who is so into workouts, I certainly know how the lower back is pained by stiff and tight glutes, hamstrings and hip muscles but stretching eases the pain away. On top of it all, I have learned from studies how stretching can help improve blood pressure because of improved artery function.
Considering all these benefits isn’t it about time you too did stretching? You’ve got nothing to lose but a lot to gain.