Not many people consider stretching to be important, probably because it is something we do without making a big effort, unlike strength training or cardio that make us sweat and leave our muscles sore. However, this gentle form of exercise can help you stay healthy and fit and is good for both your body and mind.
In case you've never asked yourself how important and beneficial stretching is for you, here is a list of the importance of stretching for at least 10 minutes every day.
Benefits of stretching regularly
1- Stretching increases flexibility
Professional trainers have always insisted that we give much importance to stretching, both before and after training sessions. Stretching increases the flexibility of the body and reduces the risk of injuries. What does your cat or dog do right after they wake up? They stretch. In fact, you will see all animals stretching several times a day, and there is a good reason for that: it is extremely important for our health. It has even been proven that a whole-body stretch will positively influence how well you sleep!
2- Regular stretching keeps your back safe
Back-problems can be triggered by lifting weights or by sudden movements, especially if you are one of those who have not been maintaining the flexibility of their spine. Sitting for long hours without stretching makes the spine stiff and tight hamstrings also can cause low back pain. Stretching exercises involving bending, folding and rotational movements help strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine and keep the discs flexible. We all want to be able to tie our own shoes later in life, right?
3- Stretching exercises help lower blood-sugar-levels.
A 30-seconds stretch and hold routine is very effective in lowering glucose levels in the blood. The effect comes from capillaries in the muscle tissue opening-up, facilitating the movement of glucose into the cells.
Take into account:
- Stretching should be ideally done at an easy pace, accompanied by correct breathing techniques.
- A stretched position should be held for a minimum of 20-30 seconds to derive optimum results. You should stretch every day.
- Yin yoga and Pilates can be good stretching routines, but make sure that you involve all muscle groups.
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