If stretching isn’t something you do every day, it should be. Stretching has a wide range of benefits for both your physical and mental health. Unlike many things that are good for your health, stretching is quite pleasant and easy to incorporate into your routine.
Once you understand all of the reasons that stretching is healthy and give it a try, you’ll likely find that you have no reason not to do it every day or at least several times a week.
Why Stretching is Important
1. Be More Flexible
This may seem like an obvious benefit of stretching, but you may not realize just how important flexibility can be. Being more flexible can reduce the likelihood that you will be seriously injured, and it can help you to remain more active as you get older. Increased flexibility can have dramatic benefits in improving your quality of life.
2. Perform Better at Sports and Activities
From team sports to activities like mountain climbing and horseback riding, flexibility can make a big difference. Not only does being more flexible make it less likely that you will be injured during strenuous activities, but it can also improve your performance, making it more likely that you will catch that difficult-to-reach ball or hold on when the ride gets rough.
3. Improve Your Circulation
Better circulation can keep your muscles from getting as sore when you exercise. It may even have benefits in heart health and preventing strokes and blood clots, especially as you get older. Because stretching regularly can help blood reach your extremities more easily, it can make a big difference in the quality of your circulation.
4. Relax You
Stretching doesn’t just have benefits for you physically. It can also do a lot to improve your mental health and state of mind. Stretching is relaxing and helps you to center you and calm your mind, which can better prepare you for stressful events and help you to be more relaxed and calm in your everyday life.
5. Have Better Posture And Reduced Back Pain
Stretching helps to loosen your muscles and build minor muscle groups throughout your body, improving your posture, making it less likely that you will suffer from all-too-common back pain, even if you spend significant time sitting.
How to Incorporate Stretching Into Your Routine
Once you realize how many benefits stretching can have for you, you are likely to want to seek out a flexibility coach to improve your flexibility and teach you how to stretch properly. The best way to work stretching into your everyday life is to find a high-quality coach to teach you how to stretch in a way that will be most beneficial for your goals and build.
There is no need to hire an in-person coach unless you really want somebody to actually come to your home to coach you. Hiring a coach to work with you over a video chat or watching a coach demonstrate stretching techniques on a video are great ways to learn how to stretch properly.
Does Stretching Really Improve Mental Health?
The benefits of yoga have been well-known for thousands of years in the East, and they are quickly becoming understood in the west as well. In traditional yoga, the benefits of the stretches and postures are understood to be both physical and mental.
In fact, it does appear that stretching has many benefits for mental as well as physical health. Stretching can help to alleviate anxiety and depression and may even stimulate brain function to help you think more clearly. If you’re looking for an activity that offers both physical and mental benefits, stretching may be exactly what you need.
How Often Should You Stretch?
When it comes to stretching, the frequency seems to matter. The more often you stretch, the more benefits you’ll likely find. Stretching frequently throughout your week or even multiple times a day will be more rewarding than a long stretching session once a week or only every couple of weeks.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to make stretching a habit every day or at least several times a week. It is a common myth that it takes 21 days to start a new habit. In reality, beginning a habit takes different times for every person and every habit. Luckily, since stretching is quite pleasant and comes with immediate rewards like an improved state of mind, you may find that making a habit of a daily stretching routine is actually quite easy for you.
It may only take a few repetitions until you are eagerly looking forward to your stretching routine every day. Remember that even very short sessions can be beneficial, so if you find that life is getting in the way, don’t cut out your stretches altogether. Rather, shorten them until they are practical for your schedule each and every day.
Stretching comes with a wide range of benefits and is very easy to incorporate into your routine. You are likely to find that you love stretching and quickly become a pest to any of your friends who aren’t already stretching until you convince them to give it a try too.