5 Reasons You Should Be Stretching
Stretching is valuable to any one at any age, but especially to those of us that sit for hours a day behind a computer or operating equipment or driving a truck, for example. Stretching increases your range of motion, keeps your muscles limber, improves posture and helps our balance. Inflexibility can make daily activities such as walking, raising your arms or turning your head much harder.
Leg muscles also get tight when we sit too much and we find ourselves struggling to fully extend our leg or straighten our knee. Over time, you may find you have a shorter or less powerful stride when you walk. Stiff hamstrings can increase lower back pain over time because they can change the tilt of the pelvis and put more pressure on the lower back joints. We might also find we have more muscle strains and/or knee pain when we are active or participating in sports.
Here are 5 additional reasons you should be stretching:
Chronic stress can increase feelings of anxiety, tension and fatigue. Regular stretching has been shown to reduce tension and may be help decrease anxiety and depression when combined with concentrated, controlled breathing.
Reduce Pain and Stiffness
Muscle tension can cause discomfort throughout the whole body. But studies have shown that regular stretching can help decrease stiffness and reduce pain.
Enhance Range of Motion
Specific stretches can help keep key areas, such as the hips and shoulders, flexible.
Reduce Risk of Injury
Cold muscles are more likely to rupture, strain or sprain but warming those muscles up with stretches may reduce the risk of injury by increase your body’s temperature and preparing the body to move.
Regular flexibility training can help increase circulation, which allows for increased oxygen transportation throughout the body.
Regular stretching can help your body and joints move more freely, helping you enjoy full functional mobility. Check with your doctor or physical therapist to find out which stretches are best for you to do.