Benefits of Stretching for Physical Fitness and Overall Health
Stretching is often overlooked when it comes to exercise and physical fitness. It is not only essential for runners and gymnast but for everyone including those who do not engage in any form of exercise. Here are a few reasons why you should make a point of stretching daily.
Promote Mental Health
Stretching promotes the flexibility of muscles and encourages blood flow throughout the body. It relaxes the muscles and increases the flow of blood to the brain. It has been shown that these factors help to boost brain function and reduce stress. Stretching inhibits the body’s physiological response to stress by reducing your heart rate and breathing rate making you feel more relaxed.
Minimize the Risk of Injury
When you stretch, muscles in your body become more flexible allowing for a greater range of motion, especially around the joints. Stretching before taking part in a strenuous activity, such as playing baseball or riding a bike, can prevent stiffness and injury while allowing you to move with ease. It is therefore important to ensure you stretch before every workout.
Better Sports Performance
Stretching benefits both the body and the mind. It promotes brain function and mental tranquility which is valuable in any sports performance. Your muscles are likely to be healthier and free from injury. Stretching also facilitates rapid elimination of lactic acid. This allows you to recover and get back to working out in a shorter time.
Build and Tone Muscles
Stretching is important before a workout to prevent injuries and pain. However, regular stretching by itself can result in fitness and toned muscles. Stretching elongates the connective tissue known as fascia which in turn can promote muscle gains.
Warm up your muscles with a short walk or do light tasks before stretching. Make it a habit to perform pre-workout stretches and you’ll soon have strong, lean and flexible muscles.