What’s in a stretch?
Stretching has many benefits, both physically and mentally.
#1: Increasing flexibility and posture
Considering how much time we spend online and sedentary, it's no wonder our muscles are tense. The lack of movement and the often hunched positions we adopt all take their toll on our bodies. Stretching will ensure that the muscles don’t become stiff and help us maintain correct posture.
#2: It relieves stress and calms the mind
At the first signs of stress and anxiety, our bodies tense up as a physical response. Stretching can help with releasing some of that stress and help calm our nerves. Combined with meditation, it can have a remarkable effect in helping you to find your zen state and handle stress.
Stretching increases blood flow and endorphins to the muscles. These “happy hormones” leave you feeling happier and calmer. What's not to like about that?!
#3: Prevents injury
We’ve talked about this earlier; stretching before and after a workout is an absolute must if you don’t want to be left limping around in pain the next day. It also helps our bodies perform at their optimal best when our muscles are nice and limber.
#4: Encourages sleep
Working 9-5, staring at a screen, at a desk all day, is a recipe for stiff, sore muscles, especially in the neck, back and shoulder region. A good stretching session before you sleep will help relax and relieve tension before sending you off into sweet slumber!
#5: Boost energy levels
While, on the one hand, a good stretching routine can send you to sleep, there are a few quick stretches that can boost your levels of energy if you feel that afternoon slump creeping in after lunch! A few minutes of stretching can give you an immediate burst of energy and help you focus and make it through that dreaded midday hump.
#6: Alleviate aches and pains
Feeling like you’re too young to have aches and pains? A lack of flexibility can also cause those pesky little creaks and niggling pains. When the muscles surrounding joints are tense, they can cause unnecessary tension, pulling them out of alignment. Regular stretching can help with this, thankfully!