Why You Should Be Stretching:
The Importance of Stretching
By Jack Thomas
Flexibility training is one important aspect of working out, but which most people usually overlook. Guys would go to the gym and do the normal stretches before a workout, but forget to actually stretch in the right manner. Consequently, they fail to tap into the full benefits that come with well-toned and flexible muscles. There are several studies done just to demonstrate how important stretching is, including a myriad of health benefits, which should make it an important part of your daily fitness routine. Here is a brief look at some of the immense benefits of stretching and why it should be an important inclusion in your workout regime:
Reasons Why You Should Be Stretching: Benefits of Stretching
- Good Posture & Better Blood Flow to All Parts of the Body
The stiffness of body muscles is the number one reason why most people develop skewed postures. But such stiffness can all be driven away by a proper stretching regime which will lead to improved posture, less pains and aches in the body, and most importantly, a cheerful life. Again, stretching increases the flow of blood to ensure that oxygen and other vital nutrients are efficiently transported to all parts of the body. When you stretch, therefore, you get generally improved health and a good sense of well-being.
- Stretching is Great for the Hips & the Glutes
If the nature of your job is such that you spend most of your time sitting behind a desk, then you know that this can be very tough on your body, and especially on your glutes. Matters become even worse when you have a sedentary life with little to zero serious physical activity. With too much sitting, the nerves in your glute area can simply shut down and that will open the door to a myriad of health problems, including lower back pain.
To avoid the glute muscles from the process of atrophy, where they slowly begin to degenerate, they need to be stretched on a regular basis, and this is the other reason and benefit why you should take stretching seriously in your fitness regime. To combat this problem, you need to focus on your hip flexors so that the muscles can wake up and avoid the devastating effects of prolonged sittings.
- Stretching is Good for the Thoracic Spine
The thoracic spine is located in the middle of the back and is mostly overlooked during most workouts. It is a section of the body that should be exercised on a regular basis if problems with the spine and complications with the lower back are to be avoided. This, again, should be a great concern for people who sit for the most part of the day.
When the thoracic spine becomes stiff due to lack of rigidity, it is not just the back alone that will bear the brunt. The shoulders, neck, and chest will also tighten up, getting weak during the process. However, with the right stretching techniques, it is possible to target the thoracic spine so that you give it the flexibility it needs to help your body remain in good posture and also to avoid other related complications.
- Stretching Encourages Flexibility
This is perhaps the most established and obvious benefits of stretching. It helps you become more flexible and also increases your range of motion. With effective flexibility training programs with stretching designed to target all parts of the body, you will not just increase your physical performance, but also become less prone to injuries. With the increased range of motion, the body will use less energy to accomplish certain movements, and you will also gain more flexibility on the joints, thus reducing your chances of getting injuries during workouts or as you go about your daily activities. Therefore, if you feel rigid all over your body, a good remedy would be to consider stretching as part of your daily activity.
- Stretching Increases Stamina
If you want to increase your endurance and get the maximum out of your workouts, then you have no reason to not include stretching as part of your regimen. This is because stretching has the ability to loosen your muscles and tendons, which in turn will relieve muscle fatigue and also increase blood flow to the muscles. The more time you take on your workouts, the more energy you will burn, leading to fatigue. But with stretching, it is possible to delay the onset of fatigue through the efficient delivery of oxygen to all body parts, thus increasing your endurance in the process.
- Stretching Increases the Energy Levels
If you are the kind of person who finds it difficult to get up in the morning and confront long dragging day with a lot of energy, then you need to think seriously about stretching more often. Just with a little stretching, you will get a boost of energy and positivity you need to take your days head-on, even if you are feeling low, dejected and without any motivation. When you are tired, the muscles get tightened, and when that happens, you can’t help but feel more lethargic. For occasional revitalization of the energy levels, make it a habit to get up and stretch every time you feel this way.
- Stretching for Improved Muscle Development
If you have been trying to build muscles but you are not happy with the results you have been getting so far, then it may be time to consider how your stretch if stretching was not part of your daily workout routine. As far as muscle building is concerned, stretching helps you attain the full range of motion, and this will, in turn, lead to the development of full and long muscles, thus helping you achieve your muscle building growth. In the absence of stretching, the muscles will remain stunted for most of the time and you will also not be able to achieve the full range of motion.
- Stretching Improves your Balance
Daily use of certain muscles in the body can lead to their soreness, thus making them tight and stiff and if they are not checked properly, they can alter the body posture. For example, ladies who carry heavy bags may experience soreness on the elbows, shoulders and sometimes on their backs. The body will tend to tighten up towards the side on which they carry the bag most often. Consequently, they may end up having a tilted posture. With stretching, the tightness in the muscles can be alleviated to give a better posture and a better balance.
- Reduces Wear & Tear on the Joints
When muscles are chronically tense and tight, the opposing muscles will become weak and produce more tear and wear on various body joints. With regular stretching, the muscles on each side of the joint will enjoy an equal degree of push and pull and will have the versatility to move freely in any direction, and also reducing the stress, wear and tear to the joints.
- Reduces Cholesterol
Stretching combined with a healthy diet will reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body, as it has been revealed by several studies. This is not just good for the day to day health, but also it is vital for the heart health and for keeping at bay a myriad of heart-related conditions such as hardening of the arteries amongst others.
Author Bio: Jack Thomas is a fitness enthusiast, writer and editor in chief at Treadmill Review Guru. He has appeared in several publications and enjoys helping people achieve their fitness goals.