Unaware, you already do some stretching of your body by the time you wake up in the morning or when you feel sleepy. Though not regularly done, stretching in that sense already gives you relief. Yoga is actually more promoted nowadays for fitness though stretching in its sense can be similar to yoga and the benefits are really good especially when you do it after an extreme workout.
Stretching, in its most basic form, is a natural and instinctive activity. People often stretch instinctively after waking from sleep or after long periods of inactivity. As a form of exercise, stretching involves elongating a specific muscle or muscle group to its fullest length. Basically, there are five benefits of stretching that is why it is normally done together with the workouts of your particular fitness sport.
- Increases your flexibility.
Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen. Lack of flexibility causes your movement to become slower and less fluid and makes you more susceptible to muscle strains, ligament sprains and other soft tissue injuries. The most effective way to increase your flexibility is by stretching. Do not stretch your muscles when it is cool. Provide some light warm up exercise before you do pre-workout stretches. Otherwise, it can lead to tearing of muscles. It most efficient to do full stretches after a vigorous workout as you can fully extend your muscles as it is very warm thus making your stretch more beneficial for flexibility improvement.
- Improves Blood Flow.
Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow brings more nourishment to the muscles and removes more waste byproducts from the muscles. Increased blood flow can also help speed up recovery from muscle and joint injuries.
- Develops balance and coordination.
The increased flexibility that comes from stretching improves balance and coordination. Improved balance and coordination lowers your risk for falls. As you do regular stretching workouts, you improve the strength of your muscles to keep still and well coordinated. Yoga also uses stretches for balance and coordination which makes it similar in some ways.
- Helps alleviate lower back pain as well as other muscle pains.
Stiff and tight muscles in the lower back, hamstrings, hips and buttocks is one of the more common causes of lower back pain. Stretching these muscles will alleviate the pain. There are actually different stretches to improve a part of the body to relieve you from pain by strengthening it. Some injuries can actually be cured or avoided by the right stretching exercises.
- Helps improve cardiovascular health.
Recent studies have found that stretching can improve artery function and lower blood pressure. It goes to the fact that stretching is also a form of exercise that can help regulate body functions. Since blood flow is regulated it also helps in the maintenance of the overall circulatory system.
With that all said, it would be necessary to include stretching to your regular workout. Personally, stretching is my favorite part of exercise. It just makes me feel sexy doing those movements. Try it and you’ll surely enjoy it.