Getting a full night’s rest, staying hydrated during the day, and eating well-balanced meals are the most commonly shared tips when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining your heart health, and nervous system. But this probably isn’t news to you! There are a ton of different factors that contribute to maintaining your health. However common this information may be, this is just scraping the surface, as there are so many other aspects of your body that need your full support and attention to stay in proper working condition!
It’s not easy to maintain ideal health, but noticing and caring for stiff joints and sore muscles will pay off in supporting you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Did you know that one of the most fundamental aspects of physical therapy is stretching? And for good reason! Even though most people look at stretching as a pre-workout or post-workout activity, stretching actually has a long list of benefits that should be taken into account if you’re looking to improve your health.
If you want to learn more about the best kinds of stretching for chronic pain or stretches that target specific areas of your body, set up an appointment with one of our physical therapists at our clinic. In the meantime, keep reading to learn the truth about stretching.
Basic Benefits of Stretches
Stretching is an important part of one’s daily routine, whether you’re exercising or not. Modern-day life involves a lot of sitting down, from our jobs to our hobbies. Over time, this can lead to tightness and shortening of muscles in areas of the body like the hip flexors, shoulders, chest, and ankles.
Stretching isn’t only for warming up or cooling down when you’re working out at the gym. The purpose of stretching is to get your body feeling limbered up and flexible. If you go about your whole day feeling stiff, of course, you’re going to feel achy and awful when you wake up!
Performing daily stretches also heightens your energy levels due to the increased circulation it brings. Learning to stretch properly will lead you to a more active lifestyle. In fact, according to results of a new systematic review, moderate-grade evidence seems to support strengthening and stretching exercises to help ease chronic neck pain.”
Here are some of the most basic benefits of daily stretching.
- It can reduce or prevent your need for surgery.Stretching is a way of keeping our muscles warm and ready for exercise. This reduces the chances of a muscle tension or sprain and also reduces the likelihood of costly surgery for the injury.
- It can improve your mental health. Muscle stretching is very effective in alleviating physical and mental stress. It helps to relieve tension in your mind. Yoga is an especially common method of stretching that concentrates on awareness and meditation.
- You’ll have a better range of motion. Regularly stretching makes your muscles expand fully, which over time will strengthen and improve your range of motion! This ensures that you can be more flexible and agile, and also prevent further injuries.
- Blood circulation will be improved. Your heart and musculoskeletal system will be improved by stretching regularly. Sometimes muscles can become extremely tight, and won’t receive enough oxygen. This can be painful. Stretching improves blood flow to your joints and muscles, further reducing your risk of being injured.
- Stretching relieves muscle pain and tension. Stretching helps to alleviate muscle pain and discomfort throughout your body. Certain stretches are meant to help relieve back pain, some are meant for shoulder or neck pain, and so on. It’s a good idea to consult a physical therapist first about specific issues with pain before practicing targeted stretching exercises at home by yourself.
If you’re not already doing daily stretches, these are things you’re missing out on! A physical therapist can get you on the right track, however, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t know what kinds of stretches will benefit you and your lifestyle the most.
Make sure when you start to stretch that you have plenty of space around you to move. Using a yoga mat is a great option to create a safe and supported area where you can gain traction easily. Remember to wear loose clothing so as not to constrict your limbs; you’ll be able to move much more freely!
Getting Started With A Stretching Routine
As you stretch, remember to drink lots of water as well. Stretching might not feel like an intense exercise like running or doing push-ups, but it’s still very important to stay hydrated and support your muscles. To get more information on starting a good stretching routine, contact Magnolia Physical Therapy to make an appointment with a physical therapist.