If you haven’t made stretching a part of your daily life yet, here is the only question we have for you: Why not? A good stretch is the perfect way to start your day, whether you’re young or old, fit or unfit. There are tremendous benefits to stretching, and we’re going to talk about why you need to start doing it today. If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with Performance and Recovery Lab Physical Therapy because a physical therapist can help!
Improve Your Energy Level
This is the best reason to get in a good stretch first thing in the morning. A few good stretches, conducted properly with deep breathing, can give you a burst of energy to start your day off. If you start to feel sluggish at work during the day, take a quick “stretch break” to boost your energy level.
Improve Your Flexibility
A common goal in physical therapy is to improve your flexibility and range of motion. Better flexibility carries a host of benefits. It improves your physical performance, reduces the chances of injury and when you become more flexible, your body requires less energy to carry out everyday actions.
Reduce Chance of Injury
You work in an office, so there’s no chance of getting injured, right? Except for that one time when you have to bend over, pick up and carry a 20-pound box of office supplies for some reason. And then, you pull or strain a muscle, resulting in several weeks of pain and physical therapy to recover. But that won’t happen to you, because you’ve been stretching on a regular basis, haven’t you? You’re welcome.
Improve Your Posture
Stretching every day can help posture by lengthening muscles that have a tendency to tighten up when we sit in a chair for work all day. Focusing on your lower back, chest and shoulders will aid in keeping your spine in the proper alignment. Stretching also relieves aches and pains, which can cause you to want to slouch.
Better Blood Circulation
One of the main goals of a stretching regimen is to get your blood flowing to the extremities. Blood carries oxygen to your cells and makes you healthier overall. That promotes cell growth and helps your organs function properly. Stretching also lowers your heart rate, which reduces strain on your heart and causes your blood pressure to become more consistent. Best of all, the better blood circulation from stretching reduces post-workout soreness.
Improve Your Cholesterol
Stretching sessions can help to reduce cholesterol in your body, as long as you’re also following a heart-healthy diet. This can help you to avoid heart disease. Stretching has even been shown to reverse the effects of hardening arteries due to cholesterol.
Improve Your Stamina
A good, long stretching session after a heavy workout can actually improve the stamina of your muscles. When you stretch, it increases the blood flow to those sore muscles and relieves fatigue. Stretching keeps oxygen flowing to your muscles, which delays the onset of muscle fatigue. This, in turn, helps your muscles to “hang in there” for a longer period of time before fatigue sets in!
Reduce Muscle Soreness
Give your muscles plenty of time to relax and loosen up with a good stretch before and after a workout. As mentioned, stretching improves blood flow to the muscles. This carries oxygen and plenty of necessary nutrients to the muscles, which in turn reduces soreness after your workout.
We carry stress in our bodies. Too much stress can cause your muscles to contract, which makes you feel tense and on edge. Stretching can release endorphins which will relax you, improve your mood and reduce stress in the body.
If you’re excited to start stretching but don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help! Contact our physical therapy Mesa, AZ office today to set an appointment with a physical therapist if you want to add stretching to your daily life.