Stretching to promote long-term wellness
Stretching…a natural inclination
The act of stretching comes naturally to humans – we instinctively stretch after periods of inactivity or rest. However, in our busy day-to-day lives it is easy to forget something as simple as stretching our bodies throughout the day.
Stretching has many benefits for both the body and the mind. Many of these benefits are short-term: getting up from your desk a few times a day can help boost your energy as well as get your muscles moving. But stretching can have many long-term benefits as well – which is why it’s important to include stretching as part of your exercise routine and keep at it on a regular basis.
Stretching Now Provides Benefits Later
Stretching can have cumulative benefits such as long-term relaxation. Regular muscle stretching will also increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body.
Increased blood flow can help to prevent hardening of the arteries. Additional benefits of sticking with a stretching routine are flexibility and range of motion. Keeping the muscles long and relaxed keeps joints healthy, allowing the body to retain a fuller range of motion. This can be important as we get older and become naturally less flexible. Also, stretching can help circulate synovial fluid, which aids in the prevention of arthritis.
Some research suggests that regular stretching can aid athletic performance by keeping muscles lengthened, as well as by increasing circulation. This can also help athletes avoid injury. However, stretching can also help more sedentary people avoid injury, by contributing to good posture, strong joints and relaxed muscles.
Stretching for Long Term Results
While stretching can be a part of your normal exercise routine, it should also be thought of as its own form of exercise. It can be done after an athletic workout, but also by itself throughout the day. Either approach will yield long-term benefits.
Just as the proper type and amount of stretching can have positive effects, over-stretching or improper technique can have negative effects, so be sure you are not over taxing your body and try to maintain proper form throughout your exercise routine.