Stretching: Benefits Beyond the Workout

Most of us think of stretching if we’re going for a run or pursuing an especially vigorous activity. And, unless you regularly engage in yoga or barre exercises, flexibility probably isn’t a priority. It may be time to rethink that idea, however, because regular stretching has benefits beyond the workout.

Consider this: If you get the mid-afternoon sleepies, stretching can invigorate you far faster than a trip to the coffee stand. Why? A few minutes of stretching increases blood flow through your body and brain. Is stress making your shoulders and lower back tight? Stretching helps ease tension and releases tight muscles while making you feel more relaxed. The cherry on top? Researchers believe that regular stretching can assist with coordination, which suggests better balance and avoiding a potential fall.

Other benefits of regular stretching:

  • Improved posture–lengthening tight muscles keeps you loose and reduces pain, thereby decreasing the desire to slouch
  • Increased stamina–stretching relieves muscle fatigue and increases blood flow so you can keep going
  • Lower risk of injury–regular stretching reduces soreness and shortens recovery time from injuries
  • Better circulation–stretching increases the blood flow to muscles which can improve overall health by promoting cell growth and improved organ function like a lower heart rate

Ready to get started? Before you jump in, be sure to learn proper technique as incorrect stretching can negate all the good. Here are a few tips to ensure you get the most from your stretching sessions.

  1. Stretching is not the warm-up. Stretching cold muscles can cause injury so do low intensity cardio for five to 10 minutes, like taking a walk. Or wait to stretch after your workout when the muscles are warm.
  2. Instead of trying to be flexible like a dancer or gymnast, strive for equal flexibility on both sides, especially if you’ve had an injury.
  3. No bouncing! Use smooth, flowing movements and then hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds depending on the area.
  4. Tension is good, pain is not. Pain means you’ve gone too far.

As always, if you have a chronic condition or injury, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any stretching exercises. Dr. Roach’s staff can also advise you on what stretches are best for you. They understand your body’s alignment, joint and pain issues and can recommend stretches that support your adjustments.

This is what you need to do now. Click here and sign up for our free report called “The 10 Keys to Increase Energy and Weight Loss.” If you are ready to take action and seek the help of a chiropractor, give us a call and make your new patient appointment. I look forward to seeing you and creating immense value for you. To read up on more health and wellness tips follow our blog here.