Most people stretch at the end of their exercise class, but when used as part of a daily routine, it can be a valuable health and wellness tool. Regular stretching will offer supple, well-stretched muscles which are much less prone to injury and provide more fluid movement and mobility.
As a safe form of exercise, stretching as part of your daily routine will allow you to tune into your body, discover your bodies innate healing power and become more aware of what it needs to remain happy and healthy.
There are many advantages to stretching:
Helps to relieve tension. The tension that builds up throughout the day from daily physical, as well as mental and emotional stress, can be released. In other words, it relaxes the mind and body.
It’s great for stress relief. When we are physically or emotionally stressed, we enter the ‘Fight or Flight’ mode and our bodies tenses our muscles ready for action. Focus your daily routine on areas of your body where you tend to hold your stress, such as your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
It increases your flexibility and mobility. Flexibility is crucial for your overall health. Not only can improved flexibility help you to perform everyday activities with relative ease, but it can also help delay the reduced mobility that can come with ageing.
It can drastically reduce aches and pains and prevent stiffness in the morning.
It can calm your mind - A regular stretching program not only helps increase your flexibility, but it can also calm your mind. While you stretch, focus on the movement, sensations and feelings in your body and take slow, deep breaths, all of which will give your mind a refreshing break.
It helps to heal and prevent back pain. When your muscles tighten either from stress or injury, there is a decrease in your range of motions. This tightness increases our chances of straining the muscles. Stretching can help heal an existing back injury by stretching the muscles (similar to the way massage does). It can also help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing your future risk of muscle strain.
It improves your posture. Muscle imbalances are common and can lead to poor posture. Stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment.
It increases blood flow to your muscles. Performing stretches regularly may improve your circulation. Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness (also known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS) after physical exercise.
It helps decrease tension headaches. Tension and stress headaches can interfere with your daily life. In addition to a proper diet, adequate hydration, and plenty of rest, stretching may help reduce the tension you feel from headaches.
Find 10 minutes a day and use slow, natural movement not only to increase your strength, balance and flexibility, but to reduce your pain and stress levels at home too. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
The stretching section on the member's area of my website is now available, so for more stretches and inspiration visit www.waterlilytherapies.co.uk/stretching. You’ll need to sign in as a member, but free and easy to create an account if you haven’t already done so.
"Choose stretching over stressing