Stretching benefits the body in many different ways. Our bodies are made of many muscles, joints, and ligaments designed to move. However, overuse can cause injuries, and being sedentary can cause stiffness and other issues. Therefore, combining physical activity and a stretching routine into your everyday life can positively impact your body’s well-being.
Whether you have a vigorous daily workout routine, or a lightly active lifestyle, stretching before and after your workout can help prevent injuries. Stretching helps develop flexibility by expanding muscle fibers and loosening up your muscles. Flexibility is essential because when your muscles are more flexible, your body can move properly, reducing your risk of injury. Muscles that go through vigorous activity have a greater chance of injury when the muscle hasn’t been stretched. Help your body prepare for exercise by incorporating a stretching regimen into your daily routine.
Another benefit of stretching is posture improvement. Stretching puts your muscles to work. The more you stretch, the more you will start to notice your posture improving! Stretching can help to relieve tension from your back and enable you to sit and stand up straighter. A few stretches you can do to help your posture are chest openers, shoulder rolls, and the cat-cow stretch.
Stretching can also help to reduce aches and pain. Many of us experience lower back pain. What you may not know is that lower back pain can be caused by muscle tightness in our quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Having tight muscles can cause impaired movement patterns, which leads to back pain. Stretching those muscles can help relieve some of that pain.
Stretching is an important way for you to prepare your muscles for physical activity. By having a daily stretching routine, you can lessen the risk of injuries, improve your posture, and reduce pain. If you have additional questions or think you have experienced an injury, request an appointment with one of our Physical Therapists or visit one of our walk-in Urgent Injury Clinics in West Des Moines or Ankeny.
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