What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to some fitness experts, stretching is important as exercising. It helps our muscles recover faster, protects our body from injuries, and improves our flexibility. Stretching enables our muscles to elongate thus improving our body posture. Namely, during long hours of sitting, we make limited amounts of movements and use a very few muscles. In the long run, it affects our body posture, our bodily movements become stiffer, and our general health begins to suffer. Ten to fifteen minutes of stretching a day may help our body become more flexible than usual and our posture more straight and natural, than before. In this way, we can avoid many complications caused by lack of movements and flexibility. Accumulated stress and limited range of movements are highly responsible for tension and pain in our muscles. If we want to prevent our body from overusing certain types of muscles, stretching will enhance our circulation, increase flexibility, and help the body to distribute its weight to other groups of muscles. Even though we regularly exercise, the most important thing is to stretch before and after the workout, according to experts. They also warn us not to stretch without a warm-up. It can lead to injuries and muscle pain. To ensure that our body is warmed up, we may ride a bicycle, run on a treadmill, or walk, for at least ten minutes. According to the article “Why Is It Important to Stretch Before and After a Workout?” there are many benefits of stretching.

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

Stretching helps to:

• Reduce muscle tension, and make the body feel more relaxed

• Increase the range of motion

• Prevent muscle strains: a strong pre-stretched muscle resists stress better than a strong unstretched muscle

• Prevent joint strains

• Reduce the risk of back problems

• Prepare the body for strenuous exercise

• Increase ‘body awareness’

• Promote circulation

• For females, reduces the severity of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)

• Increase the learning, practice, and performance of many types of skilled movements

• Reduce muscle soreness

On the other hand, stretching can have negative effects. People who have injuries or suffer from some chronic pain should be cautious about stretching. For them, consultation with professionals is highly recommended. Experts advise us not to stretch before warm-up because it can cause injuries. They also do not approve stretching when the muscles are strained or when we feel pain. In both cases, stretching can have negative effects on our muscles. Too much stretching is another trap because it can damage joints and connective tissues. With stretching as with other things in our lives – harmony and balance are of the main importance. Not exceeding limits, respecting the capabilities of our body, stretching both parts of the body equally, and maintaining the natural symmetry of the body, is a receipt for the healthy body, relaxed muscles, and great flexibility.

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