We’ve heard about tons of research surrounding exercise and its health benefits. But did you know that stretching in particular has just as much, if not more? Improving your flexibility has been proven to result in a laundry list of impactful health benefits that can really make a difference in your life. That’s why people who do yoga seem like they’re glowing most of the time! Here are a few ways that regularly stretching and becoming more limber can improve your overall health and well-being.
Reduces your Chances of Getting Injured
Individuals who have taken the time to develop their flexibility are more resilient and can withstand more physical stress without getting hurt. Because their ligaments and muscles can stretch more than those of someone who doesn’t normally stretch, they’ll have fewer risks of pulling a muscle and causing physical damage as a result of arduous workouts or physical activity.
Improves Athletic Performance & Strength
Muscles that have been well stretched have a wider range of motion which allows you to move more freely and maintain better form when doing exercises. If you play golf, you’ll have better swing; if you play baseball or basketball, just watch as your shots or your pitches improve. Even day to day tasks, like lifting heavy items, bending down, reaching for things, and more, will become less risky since your muscles will be more stretchy and allow for better motion in general.
Believe it or not, stretching also affects your strength. Flexible muscles will be able to create improved amounts of tension, which means you’ll be able to exert more force. Watch as the loads you can carry and the amount of weight you can handle increase over time.
Being more flexible means you’ll feel less sore after physical activity. If you stretch properly before a workout, you’ll be lengthening and opening your muscles, making them less tense which means less muscle cramps and aches as you perform rigorous movements.
Develops Better Posture and Balance
Flexibility is linked to improved posture. Stretching will help make your back muscles stronger, which means less strain. You’ll create the right alignment in your body to have better posture. Your increased range of motion will help you stand or sit with more ease, allowing you to have better balance overall. Yoga is known to help improve balance, as you are also practicing striking and holding poses for longer periods of time than those who do not practice it.
You’ll be Happier!
This one seems a bit hard to believe, but if you think about those who do yoga, you’ll realize, there’s just something about most of them that feels like sunshine! Stretching helps you feel better physically, which, of course, would make you happier than if you were constantly dealing with aches, pains and discomfort. Regularly working your muscles and releasing tension will naturally help give you a sense of relaxation. And a relaxed state of mind helps you release those happy chemicals in the brain. So grab a buddy, throw on a cute pair of yoga leggings and colorful sports bra to match, and hit some poses! If you are a beginner, taking some classes in-person or online can really help you establish a new routine. Develop stretching as a new habit for yourself and watch as your overall wellness improves in no time!