I notice a big difference in the bodies of my clients that stretch on a regular compared to those that do not. The muscles and fascia are more flexible and less congested in clients that stretch and exercise. Most people spend a good portion of their day in the one position, such as sitting at a desk or driving a vehicle or standing at a register and this is not how our bodies are intended to be used day in and day out. Our bodies need to be stretched and put in other positions to offset the stiffness and lack of circulation that can result from long periods of time in one place.
How Daily Stretching Improves Your Overall Health
Daily stretching benefits the body and mind in a multitude of ways. I suggest regular stretching to quite a few of my clients. One, at age 70, expressed how important a regular stretching routine is to his life.
It’s gotten to the point that my functionality and well-being are significantly reduced if I don’t do the [stretching] routine. Like massage, it’s a survival technique. As a performing songwriter, mobility becomes just as important as singing and playing when I’m in front of an audience. Movement is the “third rail” of energy that’s transmitted to fans and listeners. I never miss a flexibility workout – especially on the day of a gig.”
Physical Benefits of Regular Stretching
As we age, our muscles become stiffer and less supple affecting range of motion and mobility. Being more flexible can lead to reduced soreness and better posture. Flexible joints also take less energy to move through a full range of motion – this reduces the risk of injury and improves physical performance.
Increased Blood Supply to the Muscles and Heart
Stretching helps improve circulation. Improved circulation can result in faster recovery after a tough work out or injury because it effectively removes waste from the muscle tissue. Having good circulation also improves heart health because it brings more nutrient-rich blood and oxygen to the heart.
Improved range of motion in your joints through regular stretching helps your body better balance itself. Balance is important to injury prevention especially as we start to age.
Mental Benefits of Regular Stretching
A Calmer Mind
Today our lives move quickly and taking a mental break to focus on stretching and breathing can calm an overactive mind. The increased blood flow that comes with stretching also helps promote a more peaceful mindset.
Stress is often carried in the muscles. Muscles constrict while you are under stress as a defense mechanism that was once meant to protect you during life or death situations. Your body has not learned that stressors such as traffic, misplacing your keys, or a low phone battery are not life or death and reacts as if they are causing muscle tension. Regular stretching can help combat this muscle tension and release that stress that your muscles are holding on to.
Adding stretching into your routine removes built up toxins in your system that can make you feel sluggish. After a few days of regular stretching, you may notice your body and mind feel more invigorated.