Stretching is for more than high school gym class and serious athletes. In fact, people of all ages can benefit from incorporating stretching into their daily routine.
“Gentle stretching can be done by people of all ages and return big health benefits,” shares Kettering Physician Network athletic trainer Nic Keuler. “The beauty of stretching is that there are modifications that can be made for all ability levels to target every muscle group.”
Whether standing, sitting, or laying down, there are stretching techniques that can help you achieve these five wellness advantages.
1. Better circulation
There is a reason why physicians advise getting up and moving at regular intervals. When we participate in physical activity, including stretching, blood moves better through the body. Increased blood circulation improves overall health by optimizing organ function and cell growth, helps maintain a healthy heart rate, and helps regulate blood pressure.
2. Improves Mood
Stress can cause your muscles to contract, making you feel tense and leading to a negative impact on the body as well as the mind. Stretching relieves the tension in your muscles and releases endorphins, which consequently relaxes you and can lead to an improved outlook on life. Try starting and ending your day with a series of gentle stretches to set the tone for a positive day and a good night’s sleep.
3. Decreases risk of injury
Stretching loosens and lengthens tight muscles, enabling them to support your body as intended. Focusing on muscles in the lower back, shoulders, and chest can help keep the spine in alignment and improve overall posture. When your range of motion is improved and posture is correct, your body is properly supported and has to exert less energy to perform everyday movements and tasks, decreasing the likelihood of injury.
4. Improves energy levels
How we feel physically can also affect us mentally. When muscles tighten throughout the day and we grow lethargic it can drain our energy levels. Taking a break to stretch can increase blood flow throughout your entire body, resulting in a physical and mental pick-me-up.
5. Reduces soreness
We’ve already established that stretching helps keep your muscles limber and improves blood flow. These two benefits combined with an increased nutrient delivery to tissues throughout the body helps muscles recover, rebuild, and relieves soreness.
Kettering Health Network Sports Medicine
Whether you're a weekend warrior, youth player, or professional athlete, each client is at the heart of everything we do. From the moment you check in at the front desk to the day you finish one of our many programs, the sports medicine staff will be there every step of the way to guide you through the process. Make an appointment with a specialist today.