Benefits of Daily Stretching
When stretching, the goal is to improve flexibility and range of motion. It helps prevent or reduce stiffness and pain. It can also delay the reduced mobility that can come with age.
Stretching improves the range of motion of your joints. This makes daily activities easier whether that may be sports training, or simply bending down to tie your sneakers. Decreased flexibility can negatively impact everyday activities. Many individuals reduce their physical activities when they notice their bodies don’t function the way they once did. “Use it or lose it.” To prevent loss of flexibility, keep active. Bend so you don’t break.
Having functionally flexible muscles can help to reduce one’s risk of injury. However, the American College of Sports Medicine, does not recommend stretching before a warm up. Stretching is best after the muscles have been warmed up. A warm-up can increase blood flow to the muscles and tendons, which makes them less prone to injury. Having cold or stiff muscles is less effective for improving flexibility.
Increased ROM (Range of Motion)
ROM can decline with age, especially in people who live sedentary lifestyles. Stretching often increases your range of motion. Your muscles and ligaments lengthen when stiffness is decreased. Not only is it okay to stretch daily, it is highly encouraged. Everyone benefits from stretching whether you live a sedentary or active lifestyle, developing flexibility is as important or more so than exercise itself. Stay consistent, perform often, and you'll start to see improvement to every day life.
How to stretch:
- Hold for 20 seconds.
- Repeat stretches two to three times
- Don’t stretch to the point of pain
- When holding a stretch refrain from bouncing or jerking
- Focus on specific muscle groups