Stretching is an essential part of health and recovery. Sitting at work all day, overindulging in sedentary behavior or exercising without recovery – can lead to tight and unhealthy muscles. In the long term, this impacts mobility. While stretching once won’t lead to many improvements, cultivating a nightly, morning or post-exercise stretching ritual, will. Here are the benefits:

Stretching keeps muscles healthy and prevents injury

Stretching allows the muscles to remain strong and healthy. It prevents them from a diminished range of joint motion. Without stretching, muscles become tight and short, weakening them and increasing the risk for injury. Prevent injury and promote muscular health with a regular stretch routine!

Stretching enhances flexibility

Flexibility is crucial to aging well. As we age, a lack of flexibility results in impaired mobility. By stretching regularly, you can delay this reduction and enhance longevity.

Stretching improves posture

When the muscles are imbalanced it can result in poor posture. Research suggests that strengthening and stretching muscles enhances alignment. 

Stretching relieves stress 

Oftentimes, when we bring awareness to our body during times of stress, we realize our jaw is clenched or our shoulders are tense. Muscles tighten in response to stressors, whether physical or emotional. Stretching these muscles can help relieve this tension. Research also shows that stretching leads to an activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation. 

Stretching may provide relief for tension headaches

Research has also shown that stretching provides therapeutic value for relieving tension headaches.

For a stretching regimen, read “Stretch Yourself Strong” and for a 1-minute towel stretch exercise read “Health Coach Tip – Stretch Every Day.“

Remember to hold your stretch for 30 seconds and avoid bouncing. Bouncing while in a stretch, can lead to injury! Stop stretching if you feel any pain and reach out to your health practitioner! 

10 Daily Habits to Live to 100

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