benefits stretching

Wonderful Benefits of Stretching for Everyone

 

Benefits 0f Stretching (and 4 stretches you need to do daily). First of all, did you know that stretching can improve your health and fitness with just a few simple daily stretches? Sound too good to be true? It’s not! With just a few minutes spent each day engaging in these four simple stretches, you can experience all of the benefits of stretching. Secondly, you’ll feel more energetic, revived, and ready to face your day.

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

We’ve all heard you “should” stretch because it’s very important to stay flexible, especially as you age. But what are the real benefits, and why should you make it a daily habit?

1) It feels good— stretching allows you a few minutes of quiet time and the ability to make a mind-body connection.

2) It relieves stress— when you stretch, your body releases endorphins which wash over you with feel-good sensations.

3) It eases tension— stress and the pressures of everyday living cause your body to hold on to stress within your muscles. Therefore, stretching these muscles allows your body to release that tension and allows the stress to effectively exit your body.

4) It lengthens and strengthens muscles— your muscles become shorter when they are worked, and one of the keys to remaining flexible is to lengthen your muscles.

5) It allows more efficient movement— it’s much easier to move about when you’re limber.

6) It improves blood flow— making sure you get healthy blood flow to all your extremities is very important.

7) Lastly, it betters your health—just by doing regular stretching, you can lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, improve digestion, and even boost your metabolism.

How to Warm Up for a Stretching Routine

Even though stretching shouldn’t be strenuous, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles before you begin. This way you can truly maximize the benefits of stretching. And, as always, be sure to check with your doctor to ensure you are healthy and cleared for exercise.

So, how do you warm up?

Since you don’t want to stretch your muscles when they’re completely cold, try doing an activity that will gently raise your heart rate and get your blood flowing. Something like jogging in place, a quick walk, or arm circles coupled with a few bodyweight squats… All of these light activities allow your muscles to warm up and get primed and ready for some easy stretching. I recommend using an inexpensive exercising mat for doing your stretches on.

stretching
Seated Spinal Twist
stretching
Downward Dog
stretching
Side Bends

 

 

 

1. Downward Dog

This well-known yoga pose carries many benefits. Not only is it an excellent way to get your blood flowing, it involves your whole body. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart. Tuck your toes under and straighten your knees, lifting them off the ground, as you raise your hips upward. Stretch out your fingers and press your hands into the floor, especially your thumb and forefinger.

Then straighten your arms and legs, without locking out your knees or elbows. Keep your head and neck in line with your spine and rotate your shoulders outward. Your body should form an inverted “v.” Guide your heels toward the floor and hold this stretch for a count of 5. Return to the starting position.

If you struggle with Down Dog, be compassionate and patient with yourself; you are not the first person with tight hamstrings or weak arms. On the other hand, be diligent. Ultimately, Downward Dog will start to feel so good that you will really empathize with the full-body joy that dogs display while doing the pose.

2. Side Bends

This stretch is especially important as it opens up your lungs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly raise your arms toward the ceiling until your hands touch each other. Next, bend your right arm and place your hand on your right hip. With your left arm, reach slowly toward the right while moving your hips to the left. Hold for a count of five and repeat on the opposite side.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

This stretch helps release tension in your back. It’s especially helpful for folks who sit at a desk all day. Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Next, bend your right leg, pulling your knee toward your chest, so your heel is flat on the floor next to the outside of your left knee. Twist your upper body to the right and place your right hand on the ground behind you. Inhale and hold the position for a count of five. Exhale and repeat on opposite side.

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Extended Childs Pose

4. Extended Child’s Pose

This is another common yoga stretch that’s a great way to end your flexibility session. Begin on your hands and knees with the tops of your feet and toes flat on the ground. Gently allow your hips to move back toward your ankles as you stretch your arms out straight in front of you. Keeping your head in line with your shoulders, spread your fingers and inhale. Hold for a count of five and return to your hands and knees.

Lastly, these four stretches are a great beginning to your flexibility routine. Practiced daily, you should experience all of the benefits of stretching, including an improvement not only in health markers, but you should also enjoy better circulation and digestion, an elevated mood, and even increased energy.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have anything that you’d like to share or any opinions on any of the content on my site, please do speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions and the sharing of ideas.

Note: Thank-you for supporting this website through purchases you make on the provided affiliate links.
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28 thoughts on “Wonderful Benefits of Stretching for Everyone

  1. Hi Robert! As you mentioned, I have always heard stretching is good and I enjoyed stretching regularly. But as a runner and cyclist I have heard many of my fellows saying it might be bad to stretch after these activities. Is there any truth in that? Thank you.

    1. Hi Christina, I believe that our muscles become shorter when they are worked, and one of the keys to remaining flexible is to lengthen your muscles by stretching them out. So no, I don’t believe there is any truth to that. Thanks for sharing, Robert

  2. These are all great stretch techniques and perfect for keeping in shape. As you get older, it’s more important to stretch because your bones and muscles are more tender. Thanks for the advice!

    1. Hi Maury, as we grow older we start to lose muscle mass. Stretching is a great way to keep your muscles toned. It’s never too late to start. You’re welcome and thanks for sharing, Robert

  3. I can’t agree more. I do yoga and I feel stronger and better everyday. It is indeed important to keep ourselves fit to live a longer and happier life.

  4. I never knew that there are 4 types of stretching that we should often do.I only stretch when I wake up in the morning and that’s it.

    1. Hi Mia, these are just 4 examples of yoga stretches. There are many more ways to stretch. If you are interested in learning more, just contact me through the contact menu at the top of the page and I’ll share more information about stretching. Thanks for sharing, Robert

  5. I do the twist everyday. This keeps my body in a good position to walk comfortably. Stretching has a lot of benefits actually.

  6. I used to do a heavy workout routine, and stretching is the most important part of it, it prevents injury and releases lactic acid after strength training workout, and improved my flexibility.

  7. This is fundamental before you do any hard activity or any activity for that matter. It prepares and loosens up the body for optimum performance.

  8. Stretches are the simplest exercises one can do. The benefits are immense. I especially want to ease tension and relieve stress because I am under a lot of pressure. I will surely try out one of the stretches recommended in the article.

  9. It’s a great list of stretches. It has a lot of helpful information for anyone in need of releasing stress and pain. I’ve tried the spinal twist when my back is hurting and it really helps to relieve the pain.

  10. Everyday, I feel stressed and tired by activities. I did not know that such a cheap and effective method like stretching existed to deal those problems that I face. All the yoga stretches seem simple enough. So, I will definitely give them a try. Knowing me, I will start with the side bends first.

  11. How nice, I didn’t know that stretching had so many benefits, I thought it was only about getting warm before the workout to prevent getting hurt. Well, now I’m considering to try it daily and see how my body feels after doing it for some time.

  12. Stretching is the most effective way to improve flexibility. I spend 5-10 minutes stretching every morning and it feels good after stretching.

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