Everyone is super busy these days and time at the gym can feel like an oasis of calm in the chaos of everyday life. In an earlier blog post, we made the case for stretching and how stretching exercises can provide incredible benefits both pre- and post-workout. This time, we’ll focus on the everyday health benefits of stretching and how stretching will enhance your gym experience and improve your physical and emotional well-being.
When you arrive at the gym, do you begin your exercise program by stretching? Stretching exercises at the start of your gym routine can help improve your flexibility, core strength and coordination during your workout, leading to stronger results overall.
Stretches for flexibility, including dynamic and static stretches, will boost your flexibility, increasing the range of motion in your joints and consequently, your athletic performance during a workout. By developing your core strength and stability through flexibility stretches, you will be able to maintain proper form and steadily accomplish more challenging exercises that require more strength and flexibility.
Stretching at the beginning of your gym session will also enhance your coordination and balance, decreasing your likelihood of injury while exercising.
Finally, stretching can help reduce muscle soreness post-workout by improving your circulation and delivering more nutrients such as oxygen to repair your muscles.
The benefits of stretching extend beyond the gym into your everyday life. Daily stretching is especially important in keeping your body fit and maintaining youthful flexibility as you grow older. Over time, our bodies naturally lose their flexibility and we need to consciously do more to help our bodies keep strong and flexible. If we don’t, even everyday tasks such as getting dressed, walking up stairs, and bending down to put on shoes will become more difficult and tiring.
Stretching can also help our bodies to perform vital functions, such as improving blood flow to your muscles and joints, bringing nutrients to your cells, and removing waste byproducts from your body. This will help you recover more quickly from muscle injuries.
Poor posture is also a symptom of failing to stretch regularly. Many people do not realise that bad posture can do more than affect your external appearance by creating a hunch in your shoulders or back; it can eventually impact the healthy functioning of your internal organs. Regularly stretching your lower back, shoulder and chest muscles to align your body with your spine will improve your posture, helping you to avoid this long-term damage.
Finally, stretching exercises can do wonders for your sense of wellbeing by helping to relax tension in your body. By improving your emotional wellbeing, you will have more energy and optimism to enjoy life.
There’s no downside!
As stretching only takes a few minutes each day and has long-lasting benefits both for your workouts and overall health, there is no downside to a properly planned stretching routine. To get the maximum benefits from your stretching, make sure to consult your PT or physio to work out a suitable program for you.