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Benefits of Stretching
By: IHI
06.26.14 Thursday
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Earlier this week, we talked about how important stretching is when you are seated at a desk all day or when your job doesn’t require much physical exertion. So, why is stretching so important?  How can your body benefit from stretching daily? Stretching improves our range of motion which helps in just about everything we do.   But here is a list of other benefits we receive from stretching.
  • Stretching is a great starting place for people who are weak and in pain, or someone just starting an exercise program.
  • It’s is something even the elderly can do and should do.  As we age, we lose collagen that keeps our joints moving smoothly…stretching can help with this.
  • Stretching can improve endurance.  This is important to remember when setting off on a long distance run.
  • Stretching warms the muscles up, thereby decreasing the risk of injury.
  • Increases blood flow.
  • Reduces pain.
  • Improves posture.
  • Stretching gives a feeling of overall health and well-being.
  • Calms the mind, reduces stress.
This is just the short list of all the benefits we can get from a simple stretch.  It’s something just about anyone can do, not just for athletes. Stretching should be a smooth, fluid motion, not bouncing.   You shouldn’t stretch to feel pain.  Stretching should feel good.  You should be able to feel those tight muscles loosening up and releasing. As is customary with any exercise program, you should check with your doctor before starting anything new, even stretching.  There are some chronic conditions that need to be approached with caution. Stretching should be part of your daily routine.  A good stretch in the morning is a perfect way to lengthen the muscles after being cramped up all night, and it straightens out the fascia too…
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