How many times have you gone to the gym and skipped stretching? You may feel like stretching hurts and seems like a hassle at most. But do you realize that stretching has so many benefits that you may be overlooking. People tend to ignore stretching because they don’t feel like they’re flexible enough or don’t understand the benefits that come along with it, they’re just trying to workout. Whether you’re a weightlifter, mom, dancer, boxer, chef, marathon runner or do it all stretching should become a vital step in your fitness routine.
Studies show that 80% of people in the U.S. experience back pain in their lifetime. “ I love being in pain”, said no one ever. Many people tend to turn to painkillers or even surgery for pain relief but something as simple as stretching could be the answer. Whether it’s from an illness or sitting at work, it’s almost inevitable. Good news though, experts say a mix of strengthening and stretching is a perfect combination for relief of back pain.
INCREASED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
If I told you that something as simple as stretching could help aid you to become the best you, wouldn’t you take action? Through diet and exercise you constantly try and better yourself so you can reach peak athletic performance, but you may be missing an important element, stretching. A weekly stretching routine has been shown to decrease injuries and increase performance amongst athletes. Why not try and prevent injuries in more than one way, studies also show that with stretching there’s a decline in injuries by 15%-30% while maintaining a flexible routine.
IMPROVED MUSCLE ACTIVATION
Contrary to popular belief there’s a lot more that goes into muscle maintenance than weightlifting. When muscles aren’t functioning properly or being taken care of, they’re more prone to injury. So how can you take care of your muscles? Studies show stretching done after a workout or alone increases muscular performance.
DECOMPRESSION OF JOINTS
Prevention is key. By 2030, an estimated 20% of Americans – about 70 million people – will have passed their 65th birthday and will be at increased risk for osteoarthritis. It’s important that you do everything you can to protect your joints, that way you’re able to live an active and fulfilling life. Traction for example creates space in joints, causing decompression. Decompression then allows for physical pressure to be released and or reduced.
Who would’ve thought that something like sitting at your job could really affect your health. There’s more to taking care of yourself than putting down those doughnuts your colleague brought to work. People who have sedentary jobs can be greatly affected by their habits. Stretching has been seen to promote circulation in limbs decreasing chances for pain and numbness. In addition, frequent fliers are also in high risk for poor circulation since dehydration and being in immobile positions for hours at a time increases risk of blood clots. Everyday tasks that we don’t see harmful could be doing the most harm long term wise, that being said it’s so important to constantly evaluate your health.
Poor posture not only is unattractive but can contribute to neck and back pain. Having good posture can help you look and feel better. When you neglect your posture you invite chronic pain. According to the Arthritis Disease Center, 50%-80% of Americans complain of back pain during their lifetime and poor posture is the main contributor. Recent studies show stretching to promote positive changes in posture of upper and lower back and who doesn’t want to look and feel their best?
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