When it comes to staying fit and healthy, we’re often focused on our diet and exercise, but did you know stretching is actually just as important when it comes to protecting your mobility?
Research has shown that stretching is super important to our flexibility and mobility and should be done every single day. There are many benefits of stretching daily, here are 7 of our favourites, guaranteed to get you up and moving!
1. Promote circulation
Stretching increases blood supply to your muscles and joints, which allows for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through your entire body. So, get up and stretch out those tired muscles! You’ll feel more awake and revitalised once your blood gets pumping too!
2. Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion
Stretching helps improve your range of motion, which may also slow the degeneration of your joints. It will help keep you supple and strong and is also key to preventing injuries.
3. Improve your balance
A study tested 42 college students to see whether stretching would impact how long they could stay on a contraption called a “stabilometer”. The students who stretched for 30 minutes beforehand were able to balance longer than those who sat quietly before they hopped aboard. Researchers think stretching could help with fine-muscle coordination—meaning those who stretched first might have been able to avoid a tumble by making small balance adjustments.
4. Stress relief
Whether you’ve been exercising and feel tight and sore, or you suffer from bad posture after sitting at work all day, stretching can help tame tension both physically and mentally. It can help to relieve tight muscles while tricking you into feeling more relaxed. Take some deep breaths and make stretching a little bit of me-time in your day.
5. Improve your posture
Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest helps keep your back in better alignment and improves your posture. Here are some great gentle stretches to help improve your posture.
6. Improves efficiency and functional performance.
Because a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements. You should see better results from your exercise or training if you’re stretching every day.
7. Decreases the risk of low-back pain
Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine, which in turn reduces your risk of low-back pain. This is one of the most common ailments for people, so anything you can do to prevent pain in this area is a massive bonus.
Inspired to get stretching? Here are 15 everyday stretches that you can combine or pick from to create your own personalised daily stretching routine.