Five Reasons to Start Stretching Daily

Are you getting the most out of your exercise routine? Find out how stretching daily can help give your health a boost now.

June 12, 2017 | HF Healthy Living Team

A regular exercise routine is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, but stretching daily can easily be ignored. It might be time to try stretching; it can benefit your overall health and well-being in many ways.

There are different types of stretching exercises, but static stretching (holding one pose for 10-plus seconds) and dynamic stretching (moving while stretching) are the most common. Check out some examples of dynamic stretching to strengthen your lower body here.

Click the photos below to see how stretching daily can help you.

Improve Circulation

 

An increased blood flow to your muscles will improve circulation, and that’s exactly what stretching provides. Prevent muscle-related soreness after a workout or daily activity by trying to get a good stretch in, even if it’s just for 10 to 30 seconds each day.

 

Stress Less

 

Stress and stretching can be closely related, as exercising can relieve both physical and mental tension. Stress also directly affects many areas of the body, so stretching can help alleviate some built-up pain. Stretching can even increase your energy and leave you feeling recharged.

 

Perfect Balance and Posture

 

Stretching can be overlooked as a way to exercise or to improve balance. There are different forms of stretching exercises—like yoga—that can improve your posture and balance. Even if you don’t exercise daily, it can help with everyday aches and pains associated with carrying a purse or a backpack.

 

Increase Flexibility

 

Many often dismiss stretching because they don’t think they’re flexible. Although some people are born more flexible, flexibility mostly comes over time, so try to be patient. Improved flexibility can lead to fewer injuries during workouts or daily activities, so give yourself credit for pushing your personal limits.

 

Lower Cholesterol
and Glucose Levels

 

When combined with a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet, stretching has been proven to lower cholesterol. In one study by the National Institutes of Health, static stretching significantly lowered blood sugar levels for those with diabetes or at an increased risk of the disease.

 
 

© 2017 HF Management Services, LLC

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“Twenty minutes of passive stretching,” National Institutes of Health. 2011.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21843832

“Why Stretching is Important,” Harvard Health Publications. 2013.
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

“Stretching Exercises Enhance Vascular Endothelial Function,” National Institutes of Health. 2013.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23676363

“Exercise Holds Immediate Benefits for Affect and Cognition,” National Institutes of Health. 2013.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768113/

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