One thing I have learned is that taking the time to stretch regularly certainly has benefits.
It not only boosts strength and performance and capacity in other activities, but minimizes chance for injury. Stretching also gives time to breathe and be present within yourself.
I used to have a hard time stretching properly since I was always in such a hurry and didn’t truly see the benefits. Now, I have learned to enjoy the opportunity to quieten the mind and gently stretch the whole body and it has really now helped me in several ways….
Here is 7 ways stretching has helped me…
- Taking the time to stretch has helped to ease stress, and after a week of challenges and stressful situations, the muscle tension and uneasiness that can occur needs some release! Stretching really helps to relax the muscles and improve blood flow. It helps to release endorphins, which give me a sense of relaxation and well-being. It has helped me to have a more optimistic outlook.
- Stretching has helped to improve my posture and ease off pain in my upper back. After working on a computer and being slouched over a desk all week, stretching the lower back, chest and shoulders helps to get my spine in better alignment and improve my posture. Having my shoulders back in proper position and sitting taller has really helped to have less muscle aches between shoulder blades and thus less headaches!
- The range of motion in my muscles have improved a lot over time and I have had much less issues with injuries and definitely have noticed less lower back incidents or pain “tweaks” with day to day activities such as picking up my grandson, carrying boxes and moving furniture.
- I have noticed that by being consistent with stretching, that my muscles have more stamina and energy. Stretching improves blood flow and healing of the muscles and I noticed my exercise endurance has improved! I can make it through more lifting reps and my cardio has improved significantly since my muscles don’t fatigue as quickly. Oh, and I notice that my muscles recover faster after a workout too and I have far less muscle soreness even with heavy workouts.
- What I found before I dedicated to stretching regularly was that my muscles were tight and were less effective during exercise. So this regular stretching I am doing now relaxes all of my muscles and allows them to be more fully available during vigorous exercise…thus my performance improves! I can run faster, lift more, jump higher etc and it feels great!
- I have noticed stretching and relaxation prior to bed time is beneficial. Only 5-10 min of relaxed stretching and deep breathing prior to sleep has helped to improve my sleep quality.
- I do 3-5 minutes of lower back, and hip stretches before getting out of bed in the morning which really minimizes lower back stiffness and pain… I find that without this short stretch session before getting out of bed, that it takes about 30-60 min to feel the stiffness ease off. The joys of being a over-45 granny! 🙂
Stretching is an important component of any fitness program. Be sure to take the time to do this on a regular basis to feel better, be stronger and more resistant to injury, improve your athletic performance and to feel more positive too!
I am feeling happy and accomplished today…got a 20 min workout done called MMA Active Recovery….Day 14 of my current 30 day fitness challenge is complete!
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