What is the one thing we have always been told to do before starting a workout? If you answered stretch then you’re on the right track. Many of us are guilty of skipping a stretch and jumping right into the middle of our exercise routines, but the truth is that skipping that first crucial step means we’re doing ourselves a disservice. Stretching is an important component of general health. Let’s explore how!
Stretching is important – but why? What’s the difference between your morning, roll-out-of-bed stretch and the stretch you do before exercise? Is one more important than the other? The truth is that a daily stretch is just as important as, say, taking your vitamins. Stretching, which is the full extension of your muscles, has a lot of benefits that can help you live healthier, including:
Tensions have a tendency to build up in our muscles, particularly those in our necks, shoulders, and backs which is where we tend to store stress. A good stretch is more effective than a massage when it comes to relieving the tension that builds in our muscles from everyday demands. Exercises like yoga and pilates are designed to help us stretch for the sole purpose of releasing that tension.
Maintains Flexibility and Range and Motion
As we get older, the range of motion in our joints can begin to shorten and make it more difficult to bend, twist, and reach. Daily stretches can help maintain your range of motion and also extend your flexibility. In fact, you can track the progress of your flexibility with daily stretches much more easily than other exercises, such as finally being able to reach your toes without bending your knees.
One of the core tenents of good physical health is good circulation. Circulation is a vital component to health because the circulatory system is the vehicle for all of our body’s natural healing abilities, the transportation of oxygen throughout our bodies and the host of our immune system. Clearly, protecting the circulatory system is essential. One of the easiest things you can do to protect your circulatory system is with daily stretches, which increase circulation throughout the entire body.
Good for Low Impact Exercise
Daily stretches are what some might call low impact exercise, which basically means it’s an exercise that doesn’t involve an intense or rigorous routine that ramps up your cardiovascular system. Low impact exercises are those that can be done by anyone, regardless of current activity level, and include walking, basic yoga, and weight-bearing exercises. Daily stretches are an excellent introduction routine that can be done by everyone, including those with limited physical ability.
It’s time to get back to the basics and stop skipping an essential warm-up step with your daily exercise routine. Stretching is an important aspect of health that releases tension, helps you maintain flexibility, protects your range of motion, increases your circulation, and is a good low impact exercise for the whole family. For more tips for the whole family, follow the latest from Aging Healthy Today.