Let’s be honest, stretching generally takes a seat on the back-burner when it comes to exercise, but, what if I told you stretching is just as beneficial and just as important as a daily exercise routine?
Yes, you read that correctly. There are many proven benefits to daily stretching. Just to name a few: Enhance range of motion, reduce pain and stiffness, decrease stress, decrease risk of injury, increase blood flow and circulation, and increase exercise performance.
Think of your muscles as a rubber band. If you leave a rubber band out in the sun for a few hours once you go to stretch it, the band would be more difficult to pull apart; it could crack, sometimes even crumble or break in half. But if you stretch the rubber band consistently the band will be able to endure more and do its job properly.
The stronger and more flexible our muscles are the better they are able to support our bodies. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind while you are stretching:
- Focus on larger muscle groups
- Strive for symmetry (even flexibility on both sides)
- Go at your own pace
- Do NOT bounce
- Hold your stretch
- Breath through the stretches (don’t hold your breath)
- Do NOT aim for pain
- Stretch 5-10 minutes a day, 7 days a week
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I have linked two articles posted by creditable research with more information.