You Probably Do it Everyday, Now Take Full Advantage

by glenn on February 1, 2012

You probably do it everyday, almost involuntarily in most cases. You do it to wake yourself up. You do it to help you get moving. Subconsciously, you already know the benefits, but are not using the knowledge to further the cause. It the act of stretching and it has benefits far beyond just helping you get up from your chair after sitting for a while.

The first positive you will derive from beginning a stretching routine is an improvement in flexibility and movement. Nobody enjoys those first few steps when they get out of bed and everything feels stiff. The last thing you would want is for that feeling to stick around all day. Like a Weeping Willow tree, your posture is terrible. If you have been stretching regularly, this type of early morning stiffness will dissipate shortly and you’ll be standing up erect quickly. equally as important, improved flexibility allows you to reach more easily for things. Your range of motion is better and your reach may even be extended by an inch or two. For some who have taken pilates, they have even reported getting taller after a few months of performing the exercises.

The one I most closely associate with is injury prevention. This is a direct benefit of the elasticity that your muscles develop through stretching. Reaching for and pulling on everyday items is where most people get in trouble when they don’t stretch. Simple events like reaching for a door to hold open for someone or trying to get a box on a high shelf are typical story starters for the injured. It was in the middle of the night when I had to change bed sheets, that I experienced back pain. It isn’t that I don’t stretch regularly, but more that this exemplifies what can happen when your stiff. Out of a still sleep, I was performing reaches and pulling the mattress when my body was just jostled from sleep. My back hurt the next day. After a few days of stretching, heat, and ice I was back to normal. Any regular day, changing the sheets is not a problem at all, because I stretch regularly. As an avid runner, I do not experience pulled muscles as a result of regular stretching.

Increased circulation can provide a number of benefits, including oxygen flow to the muscles. The increased flow of oxygen can improve muscular endurance, because it provides more of the things your muscles need. On the other end, the increased flow allows for the removal of lactic acid, other toxins, and waste to be done more rapidly preventing any buildup, thus carrying away carbon dioxide and other waste that can slow your muscle’s recovery.

We can’t all be as pliable as Stretch Armstrong, nor are we expected to contort our bodies in strange positions. Consider working with a personal trainer NYC, or a teacher of yoga NYC, or pilates Manhattan. They can help you create a great stretching routine you can perform on your own to increase your flexibility and enjoy the benefits that come with that.

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