Benefits Of Stretching Daily
I remember as a kid waking up to the noises of my mom doing what sounded like Lamaze breathing and groaning. I’d find her lying on our front lawn, in her robe, twisting her body this way and that. I would tell her she was embarrassing me (because I was a kid and everything embarrassed me) and that I wish she’d at least do this inside. But she was doing her stretches, and getting some important vitamin D to start her day. Today, I see that my mom had a point. And I’m glad that she stretched back then because now, as she’s a bit older, she’s actually in excellent shape. She manages to exercise daily and live without many of the medications, braces, and heat packs that many of my friend’s moms of the same age need just to get by. Was it the stretching that did it? It’s quite possible. Here is why you should stretch every day.
Reduce blood sugar
You probably already know that exercise can reduce blood sugar, but did you know that simple stretching can, too? Studies have found that stretching can help lower blood sugar levels in type two diabetes patients.
Range and flexibility
Even if you aren’t a runner or athlete, maintaining flexibility and joint range is important for daily tasks. Something as simple as bending down to pick up a package can be a risk for people with tight muscles and restricted joints.
If you do suffer a muscle injury, being a regular stretcher before the fact could speed up your recovery. Stretching improves circulation, with can help your muscles recover from harm quicker.
You’ll perk up
Since we already know that stretching improves circulation, then it’s no surprise that a quick stretch when you’re feeling tired could perk you right up. Stretching will send blood to places it may not have otherwise been getting, and get you past that 3pm slump.
You’ll sit up straight
Part of the reason you hunch over may have to do with tight muscles. Keeping muscles lose makes it more comfortable to maintain healthy posture—which you’ll be grateful for later in life.
You’ll feel happier
I noticed my mom was crankier on the days she didn’t stretch—maybe that’s because stretching releases endorphins. Even if you can’t exercise to get those feel-good hormones pumping, some simple stretches can do the trick.
You’ll bust stress
When your muscles are tight, this can heighten sensations of stress. When your muscles are loose, your body can trick your mind into believing that you aren’t as stressed out.
When your muscles are nice and loose, you have a better sense of balance. This can prevent falls and injuries, and improve coordination.
Exercise both helps to lower triglycerides, and increase your High-density lipoprotein levels—that’s your HDL or “good” cholesterol. But you don’t need an intense workout to get the effects. Even regular stretching can do the job.
You’ll work out better
Stretching improves your mobility and range of motion. What that means for gym rats is that you might squat lower, kick further, and just perform exercises better.
You’ll exercise longer
Stretching helps push oxygen through your blood, which can help you stay energized longer during your workouts. If you’re looking for ways to improve your stamina, stretching could be the answer.
Improve heart rate
When you stretch, you improve circulation, which means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through your body. Regular stretching could produce a better heart rate.
Nourish those muscles
Stretching after exercise helps your blood send nutrients to your muscles, which means better recovery time and less soreness.
Get a free massage
If you lay on the ground for certain stretches, you can give your lower back a nice massage. This, too, will release feel-good hormones in the body and promote an overall sense of wellbeing.
Start your day focused on you
No matter how busy your mornings are, you can take five minutes to stretch. By doing so, you start your day by focusing on your health and can create a healthy lens through which you make decisions the rest of the day.