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Stretching Benefits - Why Stretching Matters

What are the benefits of stretching? Before we can answer this question we need to  understand what exactly we mean by  stretching. To me stretching is the process of placing a particular body part into a position that will lengthen the muscles and the associated soft tissues. This process should be natural and relaxing. It should reinvigorate you and make you feel better. It should not be painful or become a chore to do.

Stretching is Natural

In nature stretching is as natural as can be. All animals stretch. They do this to by instinct. It is important for them as they must keep their bodies in a constant state of alert. This is why they are constantly tuning up the muscles they might use throughout the day.

Our bodies are no different from our animal friends. We evolved with bodies that need work in the same way that a plant needs water. In the not so distant past this wasn't a problem for people to get. Chopping, tilling, planting and hunting all worked our bodies in a way that they needed. In the modern world, however, with all of our labor saving devices most of us do not get this kind of workout anymore. Without these kinds of natural outlets our bodies tend to store tension. Our muscles become weak and tight. We lose touch with our physical natures and with life's energies.

Stretching is Beneficial

This is why stretching can be so beneficial to people. Stretching is the link between the sedentary life and the active one. It keeps our muscles supple and ready for movement. This is especially true if you play any kind of sports. Sports are great and have many benefits. However they can also really wear your body down. Regular stretching can help alleviate this. Listed below are some other benefits of stretching:

Stretching Benefits #1 - Anti - Aging - As we get older our muscles and joints get tighter and tighter. A program of regular stretching can help alleviate this which keeps us young.

Stretching Benefits #2 - Increased Range Of Movement - Injuries often occur when we push a muscle or joint beyond its natural range of motion. Stretching can help to increase this natural range, thereby lowering the chance of injuries.

Stretching Benefits #3 - Increased Power - Power is generated by the distance and how powerfully muscles contract. As stretching can increase the distance that the muscles contract power is increased.

Stretching Benefits #4 - Reduce Post Exercise Muscle Soreness - When we exercise we often develop tiny micro tears in our muscle fibres. Blood pools in these tears depositing waste products like lactic acid. This is why our muscles ache after any kind of physical activity. Stretching improves the circulation which helps to remove these waste products.

Stretching Benefits #5 - Reduces Fatigue - Tight muscles are tiring and can result in decreased mental and physical performance. Stretching can help with this.

Other stretching benefits include improved posture, co-ordination, increased energy, circulation and stress relief.

Animal Stretching

The complete book of static, dynamic, joint loosening, deep breathing and energy drills. Click HERE to learn more.

Static Stretching Explained

This article gives a summary of the basic types of static stretches that exist today. Click HERE to learn more about static stretching.

Dynamic Stretching Explained

This article provides a definition as to just what dynamic stretching is as well as explains the various types. Click HERE to learn more about Dynamic Stretching.

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