When it comes to exercise, how you start determines how effective your results will be. That is why, pre-exercise steps like warm up and stretching are both crucial to be done before playing a sport or doing physical exercises. Warming up, like taking a jog, helps to condition the body by helping blood flow to your muscles, while stretching helps strengthen muscles before being used as well as protecting you from injuries that may happen during exercise. On this week's journal, we will be explaining a number of benefits that stretching has for your body. Read on!
Prevent cramps and reduces potential injuries
It's no surprise that regular exercise aids your metabolism and overall body system, including helping the body to maintain its structural integrity. Bones, joints, and muscles are parts of this structure. Before starting your exercise, it's important to prep your muscles through stretches, as distribution of blood flow to the muscles is encouraged. Unprepared muscles tend to get stiff and tight, prone to cramps and even injuries. Stretching helps muscles to get more flexible as you perform movements, reducing the risk of straining or tearing them during the process.
Another component to consider are your joints. Various muscle groups are attached to joints and enable you to perform a range of movements. Therefore stretching is also beneficial for joints, as it's tension-reducing and improves flexibility, making them less prone to post-workout pain and inflammation.
Better posture and flexibility during exercise
These days, most of our daily activities are being conducted remotely and virtually; you can do almost anything without having to go anywhere. While you can't deny that there's a certain amount of convenience, this habit may also affect your physical wellness in the long run. Posture, for example, is certainly affected. as you may subconsciously slouch during your time spent in front of computer screens, phone, or television.
This is where the benefit of routine stretches can do you good. When done properly, stretching can help loosen tight muscles and at the same time strengthen your shoulder and back muscles, making it easier for you to sit or stand upright and not slouch. This way, you reduce occurence of neck, back, and lower back pain, as well as supporting a better spine alignment.
Stretching can also help you be more flexible during exercise. More than just an injury prevention step, stretches enables you to have freer movement during various exercises. As you age, stretching has even more benefits, especially for your joints and keeping muscles stronger for longer period of time.
Improves energy level
As we know, lack of oxygen may hinder someone from thinking clearly, or even having brain fog. Similar thing happens if you have lack of oxygen flow in your muscles, which can lead to body aches, tensions, even injuries.
Since blood accumulates in idle muscles, lengthening or using muscles through stretching can help boost better oxygen and blood circulation. This, in turn, can help you feel more energized and improve your physical performance. Mentally, you feel more inspired, as your concentration level is also increasing.
Reduces fatigue and post-workout pain
Have you ever woken up and experience muscle pain or stiffness in the morning? One of the solution to this problem is to stretch your muscles in order to relieve your pain. When done routinely, stretching is effective to manage muscle tensions that might occur as you go throughout your daily life. During exercise, you are also able to do longer sessions, as proper stretching keeps muscle fatigue to a minimum.
Post-exercise, you can also reap benefit of stretching. Often times, you will most likely feel sore a day after an intense exercise. This is due to lactic acid build up in the muscles, which can be alleviated by doing stretches. Eliminating the accumulated lactic acid will also help your muscles relax and prevent cramps, by promoting better blood flow throughout the body.
Lastly, stretching is also a great way to decrease your stress levels. Often times, stress manifests in the body as physical pain, occuring in your back, neck, shoulders, or lower back. By doing routine stretches, you're elongating muscles in those areas, making them more relaxed and you'll feel better physically.