There are many different opinions when it comes to the benefits of stretching. But, what if we told you that stretching promotes good balance and flexibility, could increase your speed, power, strength, and endurance? The fact of the matter is that stretching can indeed lead to all these things and more! Stretching, in its most basic form, is a natural and automatic action.
Just like other tissues in our body, our muscles need to be well circulated to be healthy. Most of us spend a good chunk of our day in the same posture and when we are not stretching regularly, we are constantly overusing and tiring our muscles (making them short and tight). This results in the unnecessary formation of adhesions and connective tissue, decreased flexibility, decreased circulation, increased risk of tendonitis and an increase of aches and pain. The HIIT Club will help us explore the following 5 great benefits of stretching in this article:
Building balance helps you stay steady on your feet and can reduce your risk for falling and injuring yourself. When we use our muscles daily, it can cause them to get tight (especially if we regularly carry a briefcase, purse, backpack or gym bag). The heavier the bag, the more our body can tighten up on one side and stretching can alleviate muscle tightness and bring your body back to feeling balanced.
Your Thoracic Spine:
Your thoracic spine is located in the middle of your back and it is very important to keep moving for proper stretching. This is especially important if you sit, drive or stay in one place for a prolonged period of time throughout the day because when the thoracic spine gets tight, it can create many problems up and down the chain of the body. We recommend a few simple rotational stretches to improve your thoracic spine health.
In order to reap from the benefits of stretching, you have to make sure that you are stretching correctly. This means using proper form and holding the stretch at the first sensation of resistance and most importantly, remember to breathe your way through it.
Every body is different therefore, modify, adapt, and adjust the stretch to fit your specific needs. For example, if a certain stretch feels uncomfortable standing up, you can try the same stretch sitting or lying down. Stretching should definitely not hurt, it should feel good and relaxing to the body and muscles.
Stretching can do wonders for your body when you workout. We definitely recommend stretching because it can reduce your risk of injury, improve your performance and prevent sore muscles. Stretching after your workout helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains and will help keep your muscles loose and feeling good.
Good Posture, Better Blood Flow and Confidence:
Stretching is oftentimes overlooked because the results and benefits are not as evident as lifting weights, running or squatting therefore, it is easy to forget to stretch. However, stretching can lead to better posture, less aches and pains, increased confidence and even a more positive outlook on life. That’s because stretching increases your blood flow and circulation!
Increased blood flow and circulation sends more oxygen to your brain which results in a clearer mind and positive mood! Spending just a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) stretching each day can help calm the mind, providing a mental break and giving your body a chance to recharge.
If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques and always talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the most appropriate way to stretch if you have any health concerns. For more information on the benefits of stretching or if you have any questions about the information in this article, don’t hesitate to contact The HIIT Club!