Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Can Stretching Do for the Body?

One of the most common cures – no matter the ailment – is stretching the muscles. Whether you’re experiencing soreness, the need to limber up, or are just looking for a quick way to get the blood pumping, this is a proven go-to move among all ages.

But what is it about stretching that provides such instant results? It’s constant versatility. With the ability to increase blood and oxygen flow while slowly toning muscles, this move can practically be seen as a cure-all step. It strengthens the muscles (which improves posture), naturally works to correct pressure displacement, and increases nutrient supply, a step that keeps you from becoming sore after workouts or uncommon movements. Regular stretching can even prevent injuries, whether caused by nerves or muscle strains.

Still skeptical about stretching?

It’s not just the body it’s good for, but the mind. Stretching, even for a short amount of time, has been proven to relieve tension and increase relaxation. Use it before a work out to get the most mentally (and physically) out of your daily routine, or simply use stretching on its own for a quick pick-me-up. Which is especially helpful during long periods of work or after a stressful day.

You can maximize stretching sessions by focusing most on the muscles that are sore, or by spending more time on different sections of the body each time you stretch. For example, start with the legs for 10-15 minutes, while paying close attention to any areas in pain, like the hamstrings or calves. Then, tomorrow look to the arms, abs, or back – and continue to rotate for a well-rounded stretching routine. With these ongoing movements you can easily increase blood flow and flexibility, while gaining some mental serenity in the process.

The next time you’re headed to a work out – or just need a few minutes to relax – consider stretching to get the most out of each movement.