Food & Fitness Friday: Don’t forget to stretch
Believe it or not, stretching is just as important as regular exercise. So, say goodbye to your tight muscles and limited range of motion. Stretching for only 5-10 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
Many experts define stretching as “Stretching is purely the act of extending or lengthening to the complete length or extent that our body is capable of, or, sometimes just a single body part. Stretching involves straightening or lengthening your complete structure, muscles, and limbs.”
Make stretching part of your daily routine; do it while watching TV, when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed.
It is extremely important to stretch after you exercise. It increases blood circulation and helps your muscles recover from your workout. This ultimately helps reduce tight muscles and muscle soreness. It also helps increase your flexibility which reduces the chances of injury. That being said, it’s important to make sure you are stretching correctly, incorrect stretching can cause injury and harm to your muscles.
From your overall health, to your outside appearance, here are 7 Benefits of Stretching.
1. Relieves stress
Life is filled with stressors, before you know it your muscles are tight and your joints are beginning to hurt. Stretching lengthens muscles and relieves tension which results in reduced stress.
2. Improves digestion
Yes, stretching can actually help improve your digestion. While you stretch you are bending your body in positions that affect the flow of energy. “The Lotus Natural Health and Rejuvenation Clinic in Edmonds, Washington recommends gentle twisting yoga poses to increase blood flow to the bowels, reduce inflammation and gastritis, and strengthen the intestines (azcentral).” So, next time you have a big meal and you feel discomfort in your stomach… stretch!
3. Reduces anxiety
Relaxation techniques such as stretching help reduce anxiety. One of the main components of stretching is breathing. It’s important to focus on your breath; take deep inhales and exhales to relieve your mind of the constant racing thoughts that feed anxiety.
4. Soothes headache
Tension in your neck muscles and scalp can lead to aching headaches. Why? Well, if you sit with your head in the same position for too long you will form tight muscles. Stretching can help reduce muscle tension which will help soothe your headache.
Stretching has a positive impact on your health. It helps with blood circulation, decreases high blood pressure and increases nutrient supply to muscles. Stretching also helps those who suffer from insomnia, infertility and fatigue.
6. Decreases muscle soreness
You got in a great workout at the gym, then you woke up the next morning in a ridiculous amount of pain. Prevent the pain of sore muscles by stretching after your workout. Stretching helps increase your blood circulation and range of motion which ultimately relieves the tension in your muscles.
7. Improves posture
Tight and tense muscles can contribute to poor posture. According to Heart of Healing, “Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest can help keep the back in better alignment and improve posture.”
Happy Friday, birdies! Don’t forget to stretch!
the little chef with the big heart