With a stretch class starting in the studio on Saturday 16th September, I thought is would be a good idea to write about the health benefits of regular stretching. Stretching is very important for flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. Incorporating stretching into your daily workouts is always recommended, but including it in your daily routine is as important to health and body function as regular exercise. It relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow and nutrients to your cartilage and muscles. Below are some health benefits to stretching.

Enables flexibility

Without over stating the obvious, the biggest benefit of stretching in improved flexibility and range of motion. With increased flexibility comes improvement in strength, but it also greatly reduces your risk of injury. By improving your range of motion, your body requires less energy to make the same movements and you also will have more flexible joints and as a result reduce the likelihood of injuries that can occur during exercise or daily activities.

Promotes blood circulation

it increases blood flow to the muscles. Not only will this help reduce post-workout soreness and shorten recovery time, it will improve overall health. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth and organ function. The heart rate will also lower since it doesn’t have to work as hard and blood pressure will become more even and consistent.

Reduced muscle pain

Stretching before and after a workout gives your muscles time to relax. Increases in blood flow increase nutrient supply to the muscles and relieve soreness in the muscles after a workout. The more efficient your body is at delivering vital nutrients, the better the chance that you will recover faster (and with less pain)

Improves posture

Stretching helps ensure correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position and ensures your muscles remain relaxed. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture by relieving aches and pains. With reduced pain, there is a reduced desire to hunch or slouch.

You will have more energy

When you stay still the blood tends to pool in the muscles, which can make you feel tired and sluggish. As soon as you move you nourish the muscles and improve your concentration levels as your brain gets improved blood flow. Stretching can be used as a useful remedy to feeling tired, especially when you are at work, as it will promote blood flow and allow for the body to re-energize itself.

Cleanses the mind

Stretching reduces stress by loosening the muscles and relieving built up tension. It also releases endorphins in the brain that can induce a feeling of wellbeing and calmness. It is also thought that stretching reduces stress through a mechanism similar to meditation or yoga in that it promotes a state of mindfulness. This is especially true for the muscles around your neck and shoulders – stretch these out in the evening for a good nights sleep.

There are only positives and health benefits to come out of regular stretching, yet it is often the most over-looked part of a person’s healthy lifestyle. Let’s make this change! Join us on Saturday 16th September 8:30am for our first weekly stretch class.

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