As one of the most simple and effective activities, stretching is one way to enhance your performance, decrease the likelihood of injury, or to restore your body to balance after a big event like surgery.
There are major benefits to stretching daily yet so few individuals actually make the time to include it in their routines. Several of the biggest takeaways from a stretching regimen are:
- Increased comfort in the body
- Better posture
- Boosts circulation
- Increases energy levels
- Promotes relaxation
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Develops body awareness
Do’s and Don’ts
If today is the day that you make stretching a priority, we recommend the following tips to ensure both safety and success:
Before participating in a sport or activity, it’s important to warm up and stretch. Likewise, it’s an integral portion of a cool down routine. By making stretching at the same time everyday, the chances of it becoming habit are much greater. Our favorite time to stretch is right before bed. This helps imprint your nervous system with the memory of lengthening your muscles and can drastically improve your flexibility.
When stretching, you want to be sure not to stretch to the point of discomfort. If so, you may invoke a defense mechanism called the stretch reflex. This actually can cause your muscles to tighten up instead of loosen so remember to stretch but just not too hard.
Last but not least, be sure to breathe while stretching. Most individuals strain to touch their toes and often forget to breathe in and out. We love a good stretch routine performed in tandem with breathwork. Not only is slow, deep breathing good for your mind, it can also increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles as you stretch!