You see babies stretch. You see dogs and cats and other members of the animal kingdom stretching. So, why do so few adults stretch as part of their everyday routine?
Maybe if adults knew about all the benefits of stretching, they’d do it more often.
Stretching comes naturally to all of us. You might notice that if you have been sitting in the same position for a long time, you stretch unconsciously. Why? It feels good! In addition to that good feeling, a consistent stretching program will produce significant improvement in flexibility and joint movement.
Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, as a result, the range of motion in your joints. Better flexibility could improve your performance in physical activities or reduce your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your muscles to work most effectively.
Additionally, greater flexibility and range of motion in the hamstrings and muscles of the hips and pelvis help to reduce the stress on your spine that causes lower back pain.
Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. Many people enjoy the ritual of stretching before or after hitting the track, ballet floor or soccer field.
Plus, stretching, done properly, helps to relax tense muscles, which result from stress. The feeling of relaxation brings a sense of wellbeing and relief from tension.
The Mayo Clinic has some great tips for safely stretching on their website, which you can find here.