You may think of stretching as something performed only by runners or gymnasts. But, we all need to stretch in order to protect our mobility and independence. You’ve likely heard of the terms downward-facing dog, sun salutation and child’s pose – these are all common stretches used daily by those aiming to improve their overall health. Whether your goal is to boost mood and focus; help ease back pain; or relieve tension headaches, stretching serves as an inexpensive tool that can be utilized to strengthen the body and mind. Below, we examine three of the many benefits that stretching can have on your health.
Stretching boosts your flexibility
Stretching to increase flexibility can improve posture; prevent injuries; release muscle tension and soreness; and give you greater freedom of movement. The goal is to create space in your body to open, lengthen and strengthen. This results in ease of exercise, completing everyday tasks without pain and improved quality of life.
Stretching naturally improves circulation
Improving circulation is vital to vein health and comfort. Simple stretches can improve blood flow throughout the body and reduce the risk of developing many concerning health issues, including heart attack and stroke. Stretching also increases blood flow to your muscles. Common symptoms of poor circulation include pain, muscle cramps, tingling, numbness or throbbing pain in your limbs.
Stretching reduces inflammation and stress
Stretching has been shown to increase serotonin levels, which is the hormone that helps stabilize our mood, reduce stress and overall makes us feel good. In fact, a 2017 Harvard Study showed how stretching the body and relaxing the mind naturally reduces tension. The study found a reduction in inflammatory markers in the participants who practiced the routine for three months.
A helpful tip to remember when stretching is to focus on your breathing. By focusing your mind on breathing in and out, stressful thoughts are pushed away. Improving mood and cognitive performance while loosening tight muscles enables the body to recover from stress.
All in all, stretching has many incredible benefits. In order to improve overall quality of life, our team at Compwell recommends a daily stretching routine to our patients. At Compwell, our services achieve meaningful health results by encompassing what is important to the patient – including lifestyle, goals and motivations – while utilizing the latest evidence-based clinical guidelines to drive decisions. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about our services.