Importance Of Stretching
Stretching may not seem like an important part of life, but it allows the body to warm up for the day. Have you noticed the first thing animals do when they awaken? They stretch! From their head to their toes, they make sure to stretch every muscle. Babies also stretch the second their eyes open. Have you ever witnessed a toddler get a cramp? Obviously, the answer’s no. Preparing your muscles beforehand ensures they’ll have the ability to endure strenuous activities.
Unfortunately, the average person in our society neglects this vital necessity to maintain their muscle strength. The majority of people feel older than what they actually are. Your chances of pulling a muscle, straining something, or damaging tissues increase if you do not stretch. After high school, most people stop participating in physical activity. However, once we become active again our bodies will adapt and become strong. There are many benefits of stretching daily, so why not start today?
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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Stretching Reduces Your Risk Of Injury
Compare your muscle to a rubber band. What would happen if you pulled the rubber band apart quickly and abruptly? It would snap. On the contrary, if you pulled it apart little by little, it would stretch and be able to withstand a longer pull. That’s exactly how our muscles work. If we stretch them, they would be capable of handling more activities. Without stretching, it’s easy to pull, injure, or break something in our bodies. You’re denying your body a need, but demand that it functions properly for you.
Warms Up The Body
Stretching gets your body ready for the day. Nowadays, we have cars and different technologies that make life easier. However, life wasn’t always that way for the human civilization. Before cars, we were forced to walk everywhere (or ride animals which requires much more movement). If danger appeared and the horse wasn’t nearby, it was fight or flight. How would you feel right now if you had to sprint an entire block (just one street to another)? It seems small or unnecessary in today’s world, but it’s huge to your health.
Reduces The Pains After Exercise
When exercising, we’re putting strain on our muscles and joints. The more prepared our body is for physical exercise, the easier it will be to live with soreness afterwards. Have you ever exercised and actually hurt yourself? I did. Concerned, I went to the doctor and she told me to stretch. After doing my own research, I stretch every day now.
Reduces Muscle Stiffness
These are otherwise known as cramps. They leave you in extreme pain and can even wake you up out of your sleep! Ouch! As long as you’re stretching daily (your whole body) and drinking plenty of water, you shouldn’t have to worry about these.
This is a no brainer. Of course stretching increases flexibility! As the body ages, it’s important that we remain flexible. It makes life more enjoyable because we won’t feel as if we’re straining just to pick up a pencil. I want you to enjoy the latter years of your life and keep up with those grandchildren who have so much energy!
Stretching Relieves Stress
When stress strikes, our body goes into fight or flight mode. This causes our body to become tense. Stretching is a good way to counteract this and calm the body back down. Exposure to long term stress negatively impacts almost every area of our body. It can cause backaches, headaches, shortness of breath, a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and so much more.
Make A Plan
Decide to stretch at least once a day. You can do this before you even get out of bed. Stretching feels great and I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it. Start small and everyday you”ll be able to stretch more and more. Try doing it throughout the day by taking a 30 second break from work just to stretch your muscles. Keeping your muscles active will preserve their quality for years to come.
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