Ever since we were kids, the importance of stretching has been hammered into our minds. With most school children required to do some form of daily stretching, and all exercise programs involving both warm-up and cool-down stretches, it’s obvious that stretching is important. But why?
Flexibility & ROM
According to Harvard Health, muscles that are not used enough tend to shorten and contract. These tight muscles are then less able to extend fully when needed, which limits the person’s flexibility and range of motion. Without full ROM, activities of daily life (ADLs) can become more and more difficult, until the person loses independence.
Stretching every day improves flexibility and maintains or improves range of motion, extending the person’s functional life and allowing them to remain independent for as long as possible.
It should come as no surprise that those tight, contracted muscles become painful over time. Trigger points form where the muscle fibers are knotted and dense, requiring manual manipulation to release. As ADLs become difficult, painful movements must be made just to achieve personal hygiene, feeding, and more.
Stretching prevents muscle contraction and trigger point formation. By keeping the muscles loose and limber with daily stretching, the pain will be lessened and eventually resolved.
Our muscles and soft tissues go through a lot each day. We’re constantly moving, rubbing, scratching, sitting, and doing all kinds of things that our bodies may not love. All that activity can lead to injuries and damage that may not be obvious to the naked eye.
Daily stretching promotes healing to injured and damaged muscle tissues by increasing the flow of blood and vital nutrients to the area. As the area is supplied with healing, therapeutic blood, cytokines, growth factors, and more, the tissue and musculature are repaired and rejuvenated, improving function.
Posture is one of the easiest ways we can promote good health and positivity in our lives. Maintaining good posture is associated with a positive outlook on life and increased feelings of confidence and self-worth.
Stretching the back, sides, and neck encourages restorative blood flow to tired and achy back muscles, allows for maximum flexibility around the spine, and allows the body to naturally assume good posture.
We mentioned that good posture can bring on positive feelings, but just the act of stretching any area of the body can actually improve your emotional health. Stretching releases both physical and emotional stress, pushing negative energy out of the body and making room for a clear mind.
Customized Stretching Plans by Florida Injury & Wellness Center
The benefits of daily stretching are impressive and undeniable. We recommend that all our patients engage in daily stretching routines to keep their minds and bodies in the best shape possible. For help developing your own customized daily stretching plan, give us a call at 813-491-7509 or contact us online.