Stretching can be a mini-vacation away from all the stress that the body naturally builds up throughout the day. Whether you are sitting or standing for long periods of time, or performing vigorous activity, your muscles and joints can benefit from a few minutes of stretching.
Stretching increases blood circulation in the body, helping to deliver oxygen and nutrition to body tissues that are repairing and regenerating (such as after exercise or recovering from injury). Increased circulation also helps to remove toxins from the body.
Stretching helps lengthen and relax the muscles and soft tissues of the body. Unrelieved tension from stress and lack of mobility can cause stiffness and restriction of movement in the soft tissues and joints. Over time, this can lead to the development of poor body posture and mechanics, resulting in unnecessary pain and discomfort. Stiff or restricted muscles and tendons also are more prone to injury.
Stretching helps maintain the mobility and flexibility of joints. Increased range of motion of joints is essential to supporting one’s balance. Good balance is important in preventing falls and potential injuries.
The physical act of stretching encourages the body to release natural pain-reducing, mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins are a great medication-free way to decrease pain and stress.
Stretching does not require a great investment of time. Learning beneficial and effective stretching techniques, and incorporating them into a daily routine at home or work, can bring lasting benefits to your overall health and wellness.
Invest in your health and take the time to stretch and relieve your stress.