Active runners and gymnasts stretch to stay on top of their game, but stretching is not just for athletes. Everyone needs to stretch in order to improve our flexibility and protect our mobility.
Stretching helps keep your muscles strong and healthy, while also keeping them flexible, so you can maintain a range of motion in your joints. Without stretching, your muscles will shorten and become tight and then when you need to use the muscles for activity, they will be weak and unable to extend all the way. This puts you at risk for joint pain, strains and muscle damage.
Need more reasons why you should start stretching daily? Here are six ways stretching helps your body:
- Prevents injury
- Improves physical performance
- Improves posture
- Reduces pain
- Boosts blood flow and oxygen to the muscles
- Facilitates the removal of metabolic waste in your body
Try an All Over Body Stretch to Feel Great
A good way to incorporate stretching into your routine is by practicing yoga. Even just a few minutes of light stretching or yoga each day will greatly improve your flexibility. No matter how you choose to stretch be sure to include these important muscles:
- Hip flexors
- Gastroc (calf)
- Pectoral (chest)
- Paraspinals (spine)
Stretches to Try at Home
Use this handy guide to try a few basic stretches as a starting point for your daily stretching routine.
Remember, If you have any pain performing these or other stretches, please stop and wait until you can get professional advice from a physical or occupational therapist.
Learn more about stretching and flexibility from the physical and occupational therapy specialists at The Christ Hospital. Call 513-585-3838.