Most of us know stretching is essential for good health and fitness. Yet, we don’t truly prioritize it. Maybe it’s because we’re not entirely aware of the astounding benefits?
For this reason, today’s article shares six benefits of stretching and answers two frequently asked questions.
6 Benefits of stretching
- Improves flexibility
- Increases blood flow
- To speed up recovery and enhance cellular health
- Improves heart and brain health
- Improves posture
- Corrects muscle imbalances and improves alignment.
- Prevents injury
- Relieves stress
- Tight muscles commonly result from emotional stress, so stretching will reduce emotional stress.
- Improves mood and productivity
To truly appreciate and experience these benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re stretching to maximize the impact.
1 . Should I stretch overactive muscles as well as underactive muscles?
Overactive muscles are generally shortened, tight, and firm. While underactive muscles are lengthened, inhibited (or switched off), and weak. The problem occurs when these muscles work together to stabilize and move joints or body parts. When one muscle is overactive and the opposing muscle is underactive, it results in a muscle imbalance around the joint. This muscle imbalance then places more pressure on the joint and increases the risk of injury.
To correct this, you need to stretch overactive muscles to allow them to relax while at the same time, activate and strengthen the underactive muscles to correct the imbalance.
2 . How do I know I’m correctly stretching a muscle?
An easy way to ensure you’re always using the correct form when stretching is to think of the muscle’s function and where it’s positioned.
For example, your hamstrings stretch at the back of your thigh and cross your knee and hip. Therefore, to stretch this muscle, you need to move both of those joints. So straighten your knee and bend at your hip by flexing forward to stretch your hamstring. Don’t bend at your back, as it will merely place more load through your spine and lower the stretch’s effectiveness.
Stretching is highly beneficial and essential to keep your joints, muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons healthy. Prioritize stretching as part of your daily routine and start experiencing the benefits for yourself.