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The Benefits of Stretching

Everyone knows that exercise is a part of healthy living, but do you consider a stretching routine part of your exercise program, or as an afterthought that gets done if time permits?

Stretching may not be seen as something to be done for non-athletes or regular people that go about their day without being involved in any form of physical activity. However, this common misconception could not be any more wrong and is the reason why so many folks complain about chronic aches and pain throughout their body. Stretching should be mandatory, whether or not one chooses to lead a physically active lifestyle.

There are so many benefits to a stretching program. Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. It does not have to involve a huge amount of time, but stretching can end up giving you huge results.

Five Important Benefits of Stretching:

- Reduced muscle tension

- Increased range of movement in the joints

- Enhanced muscular coordination

- Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body

- Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)

Stretching Can Benefit You in The Following Ways:

Infuses You With Optimism

People who are stressed often have contracted muscles. In turn, these muscle contractions give a physiological and an emotional feeling of tenseness and overall unease. When you feel these sensations, try stretching to loosen tight and simultaneously increase blood flow. Stretching has also been shown to aid in the release of endorphins, a natural body substance that helps you attain a feeling of joy and serenity. Stretching when you wake up is a great way to start your day and stretching before bed can optimize your sleep.

Boost Energy

Most people feel a little lethargic around mid-afternoon. If this describes you, try some stretching at your desk. Often, people who suffer from mid-afternoon fatigue find that stretching gives them a boost of energy. When we feel lethargic, our muscles tighten; stretching loosens up these muscles.

Lower Your Cholestrol

Stretching on a routine basis and eating a healthy diet can help reduce cholesterol. In turn, reductions in cholesterol can prevent, and may even reverse, hardening of the arteries. Stretching also serves to aid in avoiding heart disease.

Better Blood Circulation

A stretching routine increases blood flow to your muscles, which can help with the following:

- Reductions in post-exercise soreness and recovery time

- Improvement of overall health

Makes You More Flexible

Did you know that improved flexibility results in an improved range of motion, making your body work less while moving? Also, stretching lessens the likelihood of injuries during exercise or other sports activities.

Stretching Improves Your Posture

When you stretch, you lengthen tight muscles that tend to pull parts of your body away from their intended positions. It is important to keep your muscles loose, especially in the back and torso. This helps to keep your spine in alignment and to relieve backaches and back pain. When back pain is alleviated, you tend to have better posture.

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