When it comes to techniques and strategies for even minor health improvements, we’re always eager to share them. In essence, physical therapy activates the body’s natural healing mechanisms by engaging specific zones through stretch and exercise. Without a doubt, stretching is an essential aspect of physical therapy. And a popular fitness myth is that it’s only useful during physical therapy appointments! If stretching isn’t a part of your daily routine, we highly recommend implementing it as soon as possible. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of stretching and how it can improve your health and wellness.
1. Energy Boosts
Ever feel sluggish, exhausted and miserable when your alarm clock starts blaring in the morning (doesn’t everyone)? This may come as a shock, but did you know that caffeine isn’t your
option for kicking your brain and body into high gear? That’s right, stretching does the trick beautifully.
Get a good stretch first thing in the morning, and you’ll get that burst of energy you need to get moving. Additionally, if you’re feeling sluggish and lethargic later on in the day at work, no worries. Just take a stretch break!
2. Flexibility Improvements
A lot of physical therapy routines aim to improve flexibility and range of motion in patients. Improvements in flexibility means improvements in balance, stamina, speed, athleticism and more. And when you’re more flexible, your body requires less energy to carry out everyday physical tasks. Therefore, you can preserve your energy for when you really need it.
3. Better Posture
Simply stretching on a daily basis can actually lengthen certain muscles that usually tighten up when we’re in a sedentary position. Obviously, since so many of us work in office jobs that require sitting all day, this means a lot of poor posture. And since back pain is such a pervasive issue with so many, that only increases the number of people with less-than-awesome posture.
By stretching your chest, lower back and shoulders, you’ll be working towards aligning your spinal column properly. In addition, you’ll be relieving the aches and pains that cause you to slouch without even knowing it. As a result, you’ll see a noticeable improvement in your posture.
4. Alleviates Muscle Soreness
Of course, it’s no secret that stretching before and after workouts is highly recommended. This gives your muscles plenty of time to relax, eliminate tension and tightness, and loosen up a little before and after exercising.
Since stretching accelerates blood flow to our muscles, they receive a lot of oxygen and crucial nutrients with every stretch. Therefore, stretching can eliminate the typical soreness we associate with exercising.
5. Lower Stress
Did you know that our bodies naturally store the stress we consistently experience in our very muscles? That’s right, we carry around our stress in our muscles. When we feel considerable stress, our muscles contract. Unfortunately, this only enhances the feeling of being tense and on edge.
When you stretch, you’ll release natural endorphins, which will help you relax, elevate your mood and greatly reduce your stress.
Of course, at Lake Shore Physical Therapy, our carefully-developed routines which involve specific, coordinated stretching, delivers each of these benefits and more. However, even basic, individual stretches at home can improve your health and wellness in each of these ways. You don’t have to be recovering from a sports injury or illness to enjoy the benefits of stretching. Your health and wellness is our primary objective. Therefore, we’re happy to consult with you on the best exercise routine for you specifically.