Benefits of Stretching

Do you spend the appropriate amount of time stretching after physical activity? Learn eight reasons why it shouldn't be left out of your routine.
Benefits of Stretching

Last update: 11 March, 2019

Lots of people who do sports activities leave stretching aside, even considering it tedious. However, the truth is that the many benefits of stretching are important for our body’s functioning.

Stretching consists of exercises that seek to increase the range of mobility in the joints and extend the tendons and muscles. They are usually gentle and sustainable exercises, which shouldn’t be painful at all.

Is it good to stretch?

There are many reasons why you should start stretching regularly. Doing so not only improves your flexibility, which is an important aspect of exercising, but also gives you good posture and reduces stress and muscle pain. Up next, we’ll show you the benefits of stretching, take note!

1. Improves your performance in sports

Stretching increases the range of mobility in the joints and extends tendons and muscles. This allows you to perform better in different exercises since your body will be in better condition to make the movements.

It also improves flexibility, reduces cramps, and prevents injuries. Considering all of this, your sports performance will progress to a higher level because you’ll have more freedom to move and control your body.

2. Reduces muscle aches

Not stretching produces muscle stiffness, which in turn, causes muscle pain. Therefore, by doing this activity, muscle oxygenation increases, joints are lubricated, and lactic acid is reduced.

Stretching improves our sports performance.

3. Relaxes the mind and muscles

When finishing an exhausting routine of exercises, stretching is ideal for clearing the mind and relaxing the muscles. The main reason for this is that stretching consists of exercises that are upheld without muscle tissues being tense.

For this reason, taking your time to stretch can work as meditation. In fact, several stretching exercises are actually yoga poses.

It’s worth mentioning that stretching exercises are not synonymous with suffering; in other words, they shouldn’t hurt at all. You should only experience a little pressure, so it’s important to relax the muscles to make sure the activity flows calmly.

4. Improves posture

Stretching exercises help develop firm, proper, and aligned positions. This way, muscle memory assimilates those exercises and applies those postures even when not doing physical activity.

Lower back pain is very annoying and common in people who work sitting down most of the day. Stretching is capable of reducing lower back pain and also prevents muscle imbalances that tighten the trunk to one side or the other.

5. Reduces stress

When you’re going through very stressful periods, it’s likely that your muscles tense up, which is normal. Muscles tend to contract in response to high levels of physical and emotional stress.

Under these circumstances, one way to release stress is to stretch, focusing on the areas that usually accumulate stress; such as the neck, back, and shoulders.

6. Improves body control

Stretching allows better control of your joints and limbs. While carrying out stretching exercises, you should be mindful of every detail and keep each part of the body in the correct position.

This activity will develop your ability to control muscle contractions and to align your extremities, among other daily actions.

7. Increases blood flow

Blood flow increases while you’re extending your body. This, in turn, oxygenates the muscles and reduces pain. Moreover, it improves the circulatory system, so stretching is a good alternative for dealing with varicose veins and cellulite.

Stretching increases our blood flow.

8. Provides energy

Nowadays, routines are quite demanding. Fatigue can be very annoying and it’s able to present itself at any time; either when you’re getting up in the morning or at noon while working. When you feel exhausted, a good stretch can oxygenate your muscles and clear your mind in order for you to continue with your day.

When the muscles are tired, it makes you feel even wearier. Feel free to do a few stretches if you experience fatigue or laziness. It will help you stabilize your energy levels quickly and effectively.

In short, stretching can positively change the functioning of your body. Make sure you don’t exert too much pressure and do the exercises correctly. Don’t hesitate, incorporate small stretching exercises into your routine and you’ll see the difference!

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  • Weerapong, P., Hume, P. A., & Kolt, G. S. (2004). Stretching: Mechanisms and Benefits for Sport Performance and Injury Prevention. Physical Therapy Reviews9(4), 189–206. https://doi.org/10.1179/108331904225007078