Okay, we all know you should stretch before you run or exercise and we have felt the effects of forgetting to stretch then hitting the gym hard. Yes, continue to stretch pre and post workout but you should also incorporate a stretching routine in your daily schedule, preferably in the morning, before you get ready. I know, you don't think you can incorporate another thing into your busy morning and taking the time for a lengthy stretching routine sounds nearly impossible, but please, hear me out.
You will be less stressed, yes, LESS stressed! We can all stand to take a little stress away and having a good stretching routine helps to alleviate stress in your life. When you are stressed your body and muscles become tense. Tense muscles limit mobility and flexibility. Your stretching routine will help to bring back flexibility and relax the muscles, causing less stress while having a calming effect on the body.
When your muscles are less tense your posture can improve. Stretching the muscles and making them more flexible can greatly improve your posture, causing you to appear taller. When you have good posture, you exude confidence, causing people to take notice. We are not saying a stretching routine is going to land you a huge promotion, mall modeling contract, or sexy Italian lover, but when you walk with confidence, good things tend to happen.
Taking a few minutes for a stretching routine each day can also contribute to a healthier mind. Sometimes the mind craves a good mental break, especially when we are under deadlines, work pressure or personal struggles. Even a few minutes of clearing your head and taking some time to reflect, breathe or meditate can make your school or work life more productive and your thought process clearer. It is recommended to hold each stretch in a stretching routine for a solid for long breaths, these breaths deliver oxygen and work to calm the body and mind.
Incorporating a regular stretching routine is your first defense against everyday injury. If your muscles are already in a more flexible state you can avoid accidental injuries from everyday activities such as lifting or stretching to reach something on a high shelf. These injuries happen all too often and can take you out of commission for days or weeks. Stretching is a simple way to give your body some insurance from a preventable injury.
If you work a job like me, you are sitting, a lot. Students and people who work in offices tend to get lower back pain more than people who are continually active throughout the day. When you incorporate a stretching routine, your lower back muscles gain some relief from the constant pressure from sitting for such long hours. For lower back relief, focus on stretching the hip flexors, glutes, quads and hamstrings. Also focus on stretches that twist your body, where your lower half turns to one side while your chest, and head face the other.
Stretching increases circulation. When you stretch, blood flow, delivering vital oxygen to the muscles is increased. Healthy, strong flexible muscles are much quicker to recover from tears or injury. Healthy muscles will also benefit your gym and exercise routines as they recover faster after a workout.
The benefits of a stretching routine are abundant. Give your body the muscle advantage in as little as five minutes per day. Have I convinced you to work a stretching routine in to your day? Tell us about your stretching routine in the comments below!
Hugs and Tea!