Six Potential Benefits of a Daily Stretch Routine
By Brian Acton
If you don’t stretch on a daily basis, it might be time to start. Sure, stretching can relieve tight muscles, but it also conveys several other physical and mental benefits. Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato, stretching can help you lead a healthier life.
Here are six benefits of a daily stretching routine.
- Better Flexibility and Range of Motion
Stretching promotes flexibility and a full range of motion in your joints. The better range of motion you have, the easier your body can achieve motions attainable by a joint or series of joints. In simple terms, you will more easily be able to achieve daily tasks, like lifting heavy boxes, bending over, or climbing stairs.
This holds true whether you’re a yoga master or you’re living with arthritis; either way, you can benefit from better flexibility and healthier joints. And while flexibility tends to lessen as you age, you can help maintain it with a daily stretching routine.
- Better Coordination
Poor balance can lead to injury; you can slip and fall during everyday activities or during exercise. But many stretches emphasize balance as well as activity; any yoga class will likely involve some poses you need to hold for a while. The more coordinated you are, the less likely you are to suffer a fall.
- Improved Circulation
Stretching can help blood flow and circulation, which in turn will carry oxygen and nutrients to your organs and muscles and help them function properly. As you stretch, a focus on steady breathing will help convey circulatory benefits.
- Better Posture
Tight muscles can cause you to round your shoulders, slouch, and exhibit other forms of bad posture. Regular stretching can help prevent that muscle tightness; the looser you are, the more easily you can practice good posture. Stretching will help you stand and sit up straight!
- Better Athletic Form
Science hasn’t demonstrated that stretching reduces the likelihood of athletic injuries. But better flexibility and range of motion can
help you achieve athletic movements that otherwise might be beyond your reach. For example, full range of motion in your knees and hips can help you get into a deeper squat.
- Stress Relief
Any yoga enthusiast can tell you that stretching is deeply relaxing. But you don’t need to spend hours stretching to reduce stress. A brief stretch routine each day can relax your muscles and your mind, and make the stress melt away. Make sure to concentrate on deep breathing as you stretch.