The Importance of Stretching

Jul 2, 2024

We all enjoy a good stretch, often when we wake up or have been sat still for a long time. Some of us may incorporate more targeted stretches into our daily routine or as part of our general exercise. Stretching can complement your chiropractic or sports massage treatment by aiding muscle recovery and reducing pain, but what are some other benefits you may discover by adding a little stretch to your day?

  • Increased Circulation – We regularly talk about the importance of improving circulation but why is it important? Our blood carries important nutrients and oxygen throughout our body, as well as removing toxins which can aid recovery time, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Stretching stimulates our blood flow, meaning your muscles, tendons and ligaments are receiving an increase in ‘the good’ and having ‘the bad’ taken away sooner.
  • Decrease in Stress – While stretching releases tension in your muscles, it can also have the same impact on your mind. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated and the hormone, Serotonin, is released while you stretch, which can reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Increase Strength – If you are choosing to stretch as part of your overall fitness routine, it can aid you in building strength. When stretching for an extended period of time (30 seconds or more), the muscles not only relax they start to lengthen which will improve your range of motion. Your muscles will also begin to engage more efficiently, all of which will improve muscle function when exercising.
  • Helping Align Your Spine – Muscle tension in your shoulders, chest and lower back can cause postural and musculoskeletal issues. Muscles tightening create a pulling effect. Think to a cold day when your shoulders tense, they come up to your ears in an effort to keep warm. If this occurred regularly, you would begin to feel discomfort in your shoulders and neck and it’s quite likely that your spine would be impacted. Stretching muscles, enabling them to relax, is one way of caring for your spine.

Remember, it’s important not to overstretch. When muscles are cold, they are more susceptible to injury, there is no need to push your body with stretches. Take it slow and steady, allow your body to relax into a stretch.

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