Daily exercise is one way to improve our health and wellbeing, but the benefits of stretching are just as important. Here are just a few:
-Stretching helps improve flexibility and range of motion.
As we get older, our muscles can become tighter and the range of motion in the joints can lessen. An increase in flexibility can cause our movements to become more fluid, making us less susceptible to muscle strains.
-Stretching helps to correct poor posture.
By lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their natural position, stretching can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture.
-Stretching helps increase blood flow to the muscles and can ease stress.
Blood flow can reduce muscle soreness and help speed recovery from muscle and joint injuries. It can also help calm the mind, providing a mental break and giving your body a chance to recharge.
To get the most out of your stretching, your muscles should be warm. Do a warm up of light walking or biking at a low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes. Best of all, this can be done at home without the expensive equipment found at most gyms and there is no better way to boost your mood and your energy levels, improve your immune and brain function, sleep better and even feel younger.
Made popular by physical therapists and personal trainers, foam rollers can be used to enhance balance, muscular flexibility, and dynamic strengthening.
Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as traditional massage as they enable you to massage deep into your muscles. Foam rollers allow you to relieve ailments with a gentle massaging motion where your body weight does all the work. By positioning the area you'd like to massage on the foam roller, and then rolling back and forth, you increase or take off your body weight by positioning your hands and feet accordingly.
Discomfort may accompany your workout but with consistency of your rolling, the muscles will grow accustom to the massaging as well as grow more flexible and stronger.