Why Stretching Is So Important? Stretching For Health Benefits
Even if you don’t plan to become a professional dancer or to gain an Olympic medal, flexibility is as important as getting fit and feeling well in your own body. And you can do it anytime and anywhere by stretching your entire body.
Though the benefits of stretching are controversial for scientists, you will definitely feel better and find it easier to move, run or perform.
Benefits for your everyday life
According to most experts in this area of fitness, stretching is good no matter your age, sex or shape. They emphasize its benefits, not only for athletes, but for everyone who wants to ease the daily tasks. Here are the main 4 benefits of everyday stretching exercises:
1. A warmer body
Stretching improves your blood flow to the muscle, meaning precisely that your body becomes warmer and feeling better.
2. An easier routine
Stretching daily aids in elasticity of connective tissue. You can notice within two weeks it is easier to complete your household chores and other daily task without even getting too exhausted.
3. A smaller risk of injury
And better flexibility decreases your risk of injuries by helping your joints to move at full capacity. As an example, if your Achilles lacks flexibility and you are jogging for keeping yourself fit, the risk of tendinitis or tendinopathy in your Achilles tendon increases as your feet don’t move through their full range of motion. Stretching your Achilles tendon decreases the risk of trauma to your tendon, which further leads to injury.
4. An improved athletic performance
Last but not least important, stretching improves your flexibility, which can be translated in improving your physical activities, skills in sports and your athletic performance. It is good to stretch before and even better after your aerobic or ballet class or your soccer game.
When stretching is not a good idea
There are two cases when stretching is not recommended. First, if you have a chronic condition or an injury, it is necessary to choose your stretching techniques together with your doctor or physical therapist. A strained muscle can suffer further harm when you stretch it.
The second case occurs when you don’t know how to do it. You can harm yourself by doing it wrong. This is the reason why you should consider an expert’s advice.
Choose and combine: static, dynamic or passive.
For best results, experts recommend combining the main 3 form of stretching: static, dynamic and passive. Static stretching is for beginners and older people: you need to hold a specific pose in order to increase flexibility of different body parts.
The dynamic stretching means you are moving and stretch different muscle groups in the same time. It is for the “connoisseurs” who know the warm-up and the relaxing feelings provided by this type of stretching. Passive stretching is basically done to you by a trainer or therapist, but is usually dedicated to injuries.
However you chose to do your stretching, don’t forget it’s not a warm-up and you can injure yourself if you try to stretch cold muscles. Focus on your neck, shoulders, calves, thighs, hips, lower back and joints you use every day. If you want all the benefits to last, do it every day or at least 3 times a week.