On our way to reaching body goals we tend to concentrate on working our muscles and increasing the muscle load. However, muscular system needs to be flexible in order for you to achieve the best results. And stretching is the way to keep your muscles and tendons flexible.
Contrary to the common belief, beneficial effects of stretching aren’t limited by flexibility improvement. There’s a lot more in there that you may not have known.
Stretching improves physical performance
You may have numerously heard about the importance of stretching before and after the workout. This is due to the fact that stretching keeps your muscles and joints from injuries by warming them up prior to the workout and cooling down afterwards. Doing a split, for example, targets the biggest joints in our body — hip joints, which is essential for keeping the mobility on a needed level.
In addition to that, preparing your body for a physical activity helps you get through it easier due to the improvement of blood flow.
Stretching improves posture
When your muscles are sore, it majorly effects your posture. This results in not just a worsened appearance but in the improper system functioning.
Your spine is the basis of your body: keeping it healthy is essential for the general wellbeing.
Stretching improves blood circulation
If you have ever tried stretching, you surely felt the warming sensation in your muscles. That is the result of your blood flowing to the muscles, which carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body to keep them working. If you are experiencing headaches and migraines, stretching can help you release the pain by improving brain cells oxygenation.
The additional benefit of improved blood circulation is cellulite reduction.
Stretching helps muscle-recovery
In some cases the reason of poor blood circulation is muscle stiffness. That means that muscles aren’t receiving the needed amount of oxygen and nutrients. It leads to the enhanced fatiguability and disturbs the process of muscle recovery.
Stretching, in turn, helps to reduce muscle soreness and shorten the recovery time in-between the workout sessions.
Stretching relaxes muscles
The number one reason for muscle pain is the stiffness that appears when you haven’t stretched for a while. Stiff muscles limit the normal range of motion which in the worst cases can lead to inability to bend over or even look over the shoulder.
If the muscles aren’t able to contract and relax properly, it may cause a major decrease in results and general inability to control muscles.
That is why a good stretch keeps your muscles in a healthy condition which is an essential part of general physical health.
Stretching relieves stress
Our natural physiological reaction to stress is tensing up as a mechanism for fight-or-flight response. Thus, when there’s a lot of stress in our lives, we are being in a constant state of tension. Consequently, we can often experience any type of muscle pain, depending on where is the center of this tension — shoulders, neck, upper back etc.
Stretching helps to reduce muscle soreness and relieve the overall body tension.
Stretching slows down aging process
It’s is not a secret that each year our muscles and joints become more and more stiff. It’s all part of the aging process that is caused by a combination of degeneration process and lack of movement. Even though we cannot stop the aging process, it is in our power to work on how it affects our health and appearance.
As we get older our flexibility tends to decrease: movements become more constrained, muscles and joints start to hurt. In order to prevent that we need to stretch as it lubricates joints and tones muscles.
Start stretching and see yourself how it affects you body and mind!