One of the biggest mistakes made by both athletes and those working out regularly is not incorporating stretches into their exercise routines. Whilst they may be able to get away with this for a while, eventually they will start to feel the strain.
There can be pain in muscles as well as problems with cramping. Athletes may notice that their muscles start to tighten up and they become more susceptible to injury. Thankfully though, most of these problems can be alleviate by engaging in just a ten to fifteen minutes of stretching a day. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you can look forward to.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is that stretching can help to improve your flexibility. When you exercise you are putting pressure on your muscles. As a result they build strength in order to ‘counter’ the pressure.
This of course means that you need to continually ‘up’ the amount of exercise that you do in order to build up these muscles. However, as you build up your muscles they become less flexible. This means that you become prone to strains in your muscle and the surrounding soft tissue. In order to combat this you need to increase the flexibility of your muscles, adding in stretching coupled with good breathing techniques.
In addition to this, regular stretching begins to increase the amount of blood that can flow into the muscles. This has two benefits. Firstly it will remove waste products which tend to converge in the muscles and which can be damaging to them. The most important benefit for athletes however is that increased blood flow helps to repair joint and muscle injuries that will allow you to get back to exercising far sooner.
One of the main reasons as to why people engage in exercise is to improve their overall health, particularly the cardiovascular system. Studies have shown that regular stretching helps to lower blood pressure as well as contribute towards better health in your heart and arteries. In short, if you truly want to be healthy then you need to incorporate stretching into your regime.
If you are regularly engaging in lifting weights or other activities which involve putting intense pressure on your lower muscles, particularly around the back area, then you may notice that they become stiff and tight on occasion.
This can be incredibly painful and stop you from exercising for weeks on end. Stretching can seem like a waste of time, particularly if you are trying to cram in an hour at the gym after work during a busy day. But, it is ultimately something that will make your workouts more efficient, plus make you feel better as well.
Finally, certain stretching exercises such as yoga can help alleviate any stress that you may be feeling. The reason for this is that when you become stressed your muscles tend to become tense. This has a negative impact on your body and can cause you to feel even worse.
If you stretch however then you will be able to relieve the tension in your muscles and this relaxes the body. When you relax the body, this helps the mind to relax. This is why we love going to the ocean. Our bodies relax, we breathe deeper and our troubles seem to temporarily evaporate or be put in a new perspective.
Just a few minutes of stretching a day will have you achieving benefits that you will be able to feel for a long time to come.