MELBOURNE – We know that exercise is important, but sometimes stretching can be overlooked. Consider these five benefits to stretching you may not know.
1. Improved flexibility
Research has shown that stretching can help improve flexibility and the range of motion of your joints, enabling your muscles and joints to function more effectively.
2. Increased workout performance
Performing dynamic stretches prior to physical activity helps prepare your muscles for the activity. Loosening up your muscles helps them better able to withstand any physical impact. Flexibility improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.
3. Better posture
Muscle imbalances lead to poor posture. Strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups particularly the lower back, shoulders and chest, can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment.
4. Reduced risk of injury
Increasing the range of motion of muscles and joints before exercising helps ensure that your body can position itself correctly, and muscles are less likely to become injured if you make a sudden movement.
5. Reduced stress levels
Stretching provides a sense of release that can be relaxing mentally, especially when paired with deep breathing. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and, therefore, can help reduce stress.