Stretching has uncountable health benefits and research has proved that stretching should form a fundamental part of any fitness plan. An integral part of yoga and Pilates, stretching should also be incorporated in all the other forms of exercise to reap its phenomenal advantages and to charge up your fitness goals. Here are top six reasons why stretching should not be overlooked in your exercise routine.
Stretching helps to boost muscle power by increasing blood circulation and carrying more nutrients to the muscles and cartilage. This reduces the chances of muscle soreness after the completion of exercise and helps to prevent muscle injury.
Stretching is greatly responsible for improving muscle flexibility and improving muscle balance and overall posture. It releases muscle tension and heightens energy levels during workouts. Improved flexibility also means that you are less susceptible to muscle and tendon injuries as your age advances.
Firmer posture and fitter body:
Stretching is directly related to improved body posture. With stretching you achieve a better balance, your breathing improves and more energy is channeled towards your muscles and joints. Since stretching helps to keep joints well lubricated, they become healthier and stronger helping you to look leaner, smarter and more graceful.
Relieves lower back pain:
When the muscles in the lower back get stiff due to prolonged sitting in one position or any other medical condition, stretching is one of the best remedial actions to take. Stretching immediately relieves soreness and eliminates lower back pain. But it is important to remember that certain stretching exercises can augment the back pain instead of alleviating it. It is best to consult a doctor if you have a serious medical condition before carrying out any stretching exercises.
When you are stressed, your muscles become short and tight due to the tension. Stretching immediately loosens up the tension by elongating the muscles, boosting mood and uplifting spirits. Stretching regularly is a great way to achieve relaxation and peace of mind and achieve higher levels of personal satisfaction.
Cardiovascular health improvement:
Some studies have concluded that stretching exercises contribute positively towards heart health by improving the artery function and boosting blood circulation. Stretching is also related to lowering down blood pressure which makes it an excellent exercising technique for high blood pressure patients.
How to integrate stretching in your fitness regime?
There is no one defined way of stretching as there is no limits to fitness techniques and styles. But an ideal routine comprises of incorporating stretching routines at least three times a week for 30 minutes. But if you really don’t have that much time to spend on stretching, spending merely five minutes before and after your exercise session will really help to amplify your fitness levels.
Warm up stretches can be used before diving head-on in to your exercise activity. Hold each position for a matter of 15-20 seconds. This will help to increase your muscle power and will aid you to use your full energy potential in your exercise.
Static stretches can be done to warm down after your exercise routine. To reduce the risk of muscle injuries and muscle soreness after your workout, always keep the practice of stretching as an elemental part of your workout!