The Importance of Stretching

The Importance of Stretching

The Importance of Stretching

In order to keep your muscles healthy, it is very important to stretch regularly.  Stretching plays a large part in a persons health, but is often times overlooked.  Many short and longterm benefits come with regular stretching.  Your muscles and joints need to be in good condition to protect yourself against injury and to keep your muscles long and lean.  Keep reading to learn six reasons why it is important to stretch on a regular basis.

Better Circulation

By stretching your body, blood flow increases to your muscles.  Blood brings the nutrients, nourishment, and oxygen your muscles need and takes away any waste in the muscle tissue. Proper circulation shortens recovery time on muscle injuries.

Improved Posture

You are able to maintain proper posture if your muscles are loose.  By frequently stretching, you are keeping your muscles from getting too tight.  Good posture helps to eliminate discomfort, aches, and pains.

Increased Muscle and Joint Flexibility

Everyday tasks and responsibilities are easier to perform when your muscles are loose.  Jobs like bending over to pick up a box, walking up a hill, or chasing your toddler become easier and less exhausting.  As a person ages, flexibility tends to diminish, however it can be regained and maintained.

Relieved Stress

Stress can cause many unpleasant reactions in a person.  Things like anxiety, headaches, and tension are often the result of stress.  Stretching can relax and release mental and physical tension. Combine stretching with breathing techniques (like that found in yoga) can improve a persons life.

Improved Coordination

Through regular stretching, you can gain and maintain the flexibility in your joints which aids in better balance.  Coordination and balance will help keep you agile and you are less likely to become injured.

Joint Safety

Unnecessary wear and tear on joints in the body can be produced by tight, tense muscles causing opposing muscles to weaken over time.  With regular stretching, you ensure the muscles surrounding a joint split the work equally. This allows the joint to move freely, effectively and efficiently in all its intended directions, therefore the joints are protected and there is less stress on your body.

It is important, prior to stretching, that you warm up the muscles in your body.  Stretching coldmuscles increases the risk of pulling a muscle.  A low-intensity activity or exercise for about five minutes should warm the muscles enough.  Remember to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, 60 seconds on tight problem areas, as it takes time to lengthen your muscles safely and properly.  Remember to keep breathing through your stretches. Try not to bounce your stretches. Doing so can create micro-tears in your muscles causing scar tissue to form as your muscles heal.  Once scar tissue is present, your muscles become even tighter and more difficult to stretch.

To learn more about stretching and the best stretches for your body, contact Spinal Rehab of North County today.  Dr. Templeton and his knowledgeable staff are experienced and ready to help you feel your very best.

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