If you are looking to improve your health, you should consider the benefits of stretching. We all know stretching before a workout is a good idea, but research shows there are other benefits too.
A research article published by the International Interdisciplinary Research Journal identifies five main health benefits of stretching.
The first benefit of stretching is that it increases circulation, improving how our body gets nutrients and oxygen through blood flow. Increasing circulation is also going to increase healing. With any injury the more blood flow we get to the area, the faster that injury will heal. Increased circulation also reduces muscle soreness after working out.
The second benefit of stretching is increased flexibility. Muscles tend to shorten over time, especially if they are not being worked very hard. But with stretching, muscles lengthen and that increases our flexibility and reduces our susceptibility to muscle, tendon, and joint injuries. Better flexibility improves our ability to exercise and perform daily tasks.
Stretching Increases Your: Circulation, Flexibility, and Range of Motion. Stretching Reduces Stress and Alleviates Low Back Pain Stretching Prevents Injury and so much more!
The third benefit of stretching is increased range of motion. Range of motion speaks particularly about a joint’s ability to move in its full range of motion. We can have flexible muscles in soft tissue, but still have range of motion limitations in our joints. Stretching helps improve the joint range of motion by lengthening and strengthening the muscles and ligaments of the joint and reducing joint inflammation.
The fourth benefit is that stretching reduces our overall stress. Increasing muscle elasticity and tone results in a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. We feel more confident in our ability to perform work tasks or chores around the home. We feel better and look better. And reduce stress reduces the release of a hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can disturb sleep and increase insulin resistance and therefore increase the risk for developing diabetes. Stretching also causes a release of endorphins, which improves mood and reduces stress.
Finally, stretching reduces low back pain. In fact, stretching is one of the most effective treatments for low back pain by improving flexibility in the areas above and below the lower back.
If you're looking for guidance on stretching, we have a program here at Superior Physical Therapy called Stretch Me. You can learn more about it by going to www.StretchMeTC.com, and you can try a free 25-minute session with one of our stretchologists by using the code STRETCHMEFREE when you register.