Our bodies are constantly in motion, and in order to age well and stay healthy for as long as possible, we need to treat our bodies with care. Staying active, practicing mental relaxation techniques, and eating a balanced diet all form part of a well rounded and healthy lifestyle.
Did you know that stretching is an essential part of keeping your body healthy and injury free? While many people are aware of the fact that they need to be active, they may look past this simple and quick step. For this reason, many people suffer from chronic pain or injuries that could have been avoided. So, is stretching necessary? Absolutely! Keep reading to find out why and when you should be stretching.
Benefits of Stretching:
- Increases flexibility
- Increases range of motion
- Reduces risk of injury
- Improves workout performance
- Improves posture
- Increases blood flow and energy
- Calms the mind
When Should You Stretch?
- When you wake up: Stretching in the morning can help your body wake up and get ready for the day, as it will improve your blood flow and give you the kickstart you need to get up and moving.
- Before a workout: Dynamic stretching before a workout is necessary in order to warm up the muscles and get them ready for your routine. Stretching before a workout is absolutely necessary in order to prevent injuries.
- After a workout: Post-workout stretches help to wind down the muscles and release tension from strenuous activity.
- If you’ve been sitting too long: If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or work full-time in an office setting, it’s important to take short breaks throughout the day to stand and stretch.
- When you’re stressed: Stress can cause your muscles to tense up and your mind to feel uneasy. Taking time for yourself to stretch or find a relaxing exercise such as yoga or tai chi can have huge benefits for both your mental and physical health.
- If your muscles are tight: Sometimes your muscles tighten up from daily stress, from overuse, or from strenuous workouts. Nonetheless, using different stretching techniques or even foam rolling can help.
- If you’re experiencing muscle pain: Stretching can help heal muscle pain by improving range of motion and can also help reduce the chances of experiencing muscle pain later on.
When you’re recovering from an injury: If you had an injury and you need therapy, they may suggest certain stretches that will help your recovery process. Continuing to do those exercises will help you feel better with time and improve post-injury trauma.