This is a question that typically comes into our minds before a workout. While the answer should always be yes, it should not only be when working out. Stretching has many health benefits for your body as well as your mind. Better posture, improved flexibility, stress relief and feeling better overall can be linked to the simple act of stretching.
A common misconception when it comes to stretching is that you only need to do it before a workout but it has been proven that it is more beneficial to you when done after a workout. Before you begin a workout, your muscles are cold, and this is why people say you should “ warm up” by stretching. To stretch effectively, your muscles need to be warm. Stretching with warm muscles can help avoid injury so try light cardio before a workout and stretching after to see the difference.
Stretching increases blood flow throughout our entire body. While all stretching is beneficial it is important to focus on types of stretches that help maintain and increase your body’s range of motion. With our body having full range of motion, we can do everything in our day to day movements more effectively.
Stretching can provide our brains with a mental break whenever we feel sluggish or that we can’t get through the day without another cup of coffee. Stretching can help us feel rejuvenated thus causing us to be more focused and attentive.
Our posture is something that can negatively affect us every day in many different ways if it is not right. Self confidence, back pain and discomfort when sitting for long periods of time are all things caused by bad posture. With computers being such a huge part of our everyday lives, we need to be more vigilant of our posture. Sitting at a computer hunched over can cause “hunched back” which is where a hump forms at the top of your shoulders. Poor posture while sitting could also cause you to experience back pain.
Stretching can also be a form of stress relief. It can help you get a better night’s sleep and clear your mind. You could stretch for 15 minutes or for an hour in a yoga class but whichever you choose it will help your mind relax and release any tension.
By taking the time out of your day to do something as simple as stretching you will be doing your entire body a favor, both physically and mentally.