If you are like me, when you think about working out, your mind goes directly to a piece of gym equipment or some other form of physical activity. We often forget one very important step in the work out process that should take place before and after you exercise every time- stretching! Stretching should be an essential part of your routine every time you work out. One of the best parts about stretching is the lack of equipment that is needed to do it. If you have a little bit of empty space around yourself, you can stretch. Check out some of the top benefits that are the result of giving your muscles a good stretch before and after you hit the gym. Even if you are not working out for that day, try to make sure you are giving yourself a few minutes to stretch so you can enjoy all of the benefits it will bring to you!
I think one of the most obvious benefits that comes with stretching is it improves flexibility. As we get older, our muscles tend to feel stiffer and less fluid. Have you noticed that little tug or ache when you bend over to pick something up off the floor? When you work on your flexibility, those small bends get easier and more pain free.
When you stretch your muscles, you are helping your body relieve muscle tension which helps reduce the feeling of stress. It can also help increase your energy level which helps your overall mental state feel better. Yoga has become one of the most popular choices when wanting to give your muscles a long and peaceful stretch during the day.
Reduces the Risk of Injury
When you stretch, you are increasing the flexibility of your muscle tendons. This will help your performance when working out on machines or in fitness classes. If your muscles are not as stiff and are used more often, you should have a lesser chance of getting injured when you put them to work.
Poor posture can really take a toll on your health and overall well being. A lot of people are stuck sitting for long hours at a desk during the work week and will often find themselves starting to hunch over their computers. There are a ton of different stretches that can be done to help take away the aches and pains of poor posture and help you improve on standing tall. Having improved posture can also help alleviate back pain, strengthen your core and help your overall mental health.
Stretching helps improve your body’s circulation by increasing blood flow to your muscles. When you have better circulation throughout your body, you are able to recover faster when working out. Improved circulation also helps your body’s oxygen flow better and allows all of your important parts to function better as a whole!
Helps You Sleep Better
Stretching before bedtime can help you get a better night’s sleep. Since we have learned that stretching can reduce tension, bedtime is a perfect time of the day to try to rid yourself of as much tension as possible. If I go to bed worried about something or feeling extra tense, I never get a restful nights sleep. When this happens, I am more likely to continue to carry that tension with me throughout the next day. By adding a two minute stretch time to my nightly routine, I can help improve my chance of getting a better night’s sleep.