Stretching is an exercise modality that may have many benefits. We can show you the best ways to stretch to help keep you moving with full range of motion.
What is Stretching?
Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Stretching activities are an important part of any exercise or rehabilitation program. They help warm the body up prior to activity thus decreasing the risk of injury as well as muscle soreness.
The Benefits of Stretching
According to the Mayo Clinic, the top five benefits of stretching include:
- Increased flexibility and joint range of motion: Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring. Flexibility tends to diminish as you get older, but you can regain and maintain it.
- Improved circulation: Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you've had any muscle injuries.
- Better posture: Frequent stretching can help keep your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture. Good posture can minimize discomfort and keep aches and pains at a minimum.
- Stress relief: Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.
- Enhanced coordination: Maintaining the full range-of-motion through your joints keeps you in better balance. Coordination and balance will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls, especially as you get older.
Exercise designed to lengthen a muscle(s) or soft tissue. Stretching exercises are usually prescribed to improve the flexibility of muscles that have tightened due to disuse or in compensation to pain, spasm or immobilization.