It’s not enough to build muscle and attain aerobic fitness. You need to think about flexibility, as well. Stretching can assist. You might think of stretching as something which is performed only by runners or gymnasts. However, we all need to stretch in order to protect our mobility and independence. A lot of people don’t understand that stretching has to happen on a regular basis. It should be daily.
There are very many advantages to stretching regularly. Not only can stretching assist with increasing your flexibility, which is an important factor of fitness, however it can also improve your posture, lower stress and body aches, and more.
Stretching Is One Component Of Overall Fitness
However, a lot of us find stretching far too easy to skip. While the research on stretching is a little bit mixed, there are some legitimate mental – as well as physical – benefits to including it into your routine, whether you stretch before your workout, at the end of your session, or another time during the course of the day. People who carve time for stretching may find that it assists their workouts — and day-to-day life — feel a little (or a lot) better.
However, before we dig into those advantages, it can be useful to understand what we mean, exactly, by ‘stretching’.
Stretching is basically any movement which lengthens your muscles (and along with them, the tendons, ligaments in addition to connective tissue) even temporarily. Almost every time you move your body, something is being stretched.
What Are The Benefits Of Stretching?
Increases Your Flexibility
Stretching often can assist with increasing your flexibility, which is extremely important for your overall health. Not only can increased flexibility assist you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, however it can also help with delaying the reduced mobility that can come with ageing.
Assists With Better Recruiting Your Muscles When Working Out
If you’re able to stick to a regular stretching routine, you could see only an increase in range of motion, however also improvement in your performance. The more range of motion you possess, the more muscle you’ll have the ability to activate.
For instance, if you have limited range of motion in your hamstrings, you may only be able to activate, say, 40% of your muscle when doing a single-leg deadlift. However, if you increase your hamstring flexibility, you are then able to activate, say 60%, of that muscle.
The result? You’ll gain strength, which will allow you to lift more weight—and thus become even stronger. In addition, having more range of motion can assist you to perform a broader range of exercises.
Improves Your Performance In Physical Activities
Performing dynamic stretches before physical activities has been shown to assist to prepare your muscles for the activity. Also, it may help improve your performance in an athletic event or exercise.
Stretching Makes Day-To-Day Life Feel Easier
Improving your flexibility won’t just enhance your workouts — it can also make daily life better, too. You may not realise it, however there are a lot of day-to-day tasks which involve some level of flexibility.
Daily tasks include:
- Squatting to sink into and out of a chair,
- Leaning over to get in your car, as well as
- Bending down to scoop up your toddler.
Through boosting your flexibility with stretching, you’ll have the ability to perform these small but essential day-to-day movements more easily as well as effectively.
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