A woman stretching at the beachStretch
Health

Why is stretching so important?

Many believe that stretching isn’t exercising. We’d rather skip stretching thinking it’s not enough calorie consuming but that is wrong thinking. There is so much more about extending your body than burning calories!! I was very surprised when I found out about all the awesome things that happen to your body when you stretch. Here are amazing health benefits that will convince you that it is just as important as your cardio routine. What is great about a good Barre workout session is that it is a mix of strengthening and stretching moves. Add a few cardio movements and you get it all at once. A very effective combination.

Boost up your energy!energetic man jumping on canyon

Do you feel drowsy? constantly tired? Drink a big glass of water and stretch!!! You’ll feel energized, ready to get started with your day!

When feeling sleepy during the day, just doing a few simple stretches helps increase your stamina. The blood flow to your brain and tissues keeps you alert and full of vitality.

Apart from “waking you up”, why is stretching so important?

Reduce your stress!

Stretches help reduce anxiety by controlling high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Muscles have expandable receptors that tell your brain about your global level of tension. When they are constantly tense, the brain receives the message that your are stressed out. Stretching loosens the muscles and calms your mind sending the message to your brain that all is well.

Doing so it also decreases and prevents tension headaches that are due to the level of stress. Because of the release of endorphins (natural chemicals that fight pain), stretching before bedtime is a great remedy to a good night sleep. So take a big breath, stretch and relax.

Build new muscles!

When you elongate your entire body, you target muscles you never use. You build those new muscles such as the deep muscles of the spine, neck and the deep core stability tissues. That is why ballet dancers increase their muscle control by developing both the deep and superficial muscles. Achieving maximum muscle tone. They don’t look very muscular like bodybuilders do but they are strong indeed! Moreover, they are strong from within. That is why they are able to keep their balance on their pointes because they are able to engage those deep spinal, neck and core muscles.

Better your posture!

By keeping the spine in proper alignment, stretching ensures correct posture. Our natural posture adapts to the positions we spend the most time in, like sitting long hours in an office.

Our shoulders, back, core and neck shorten. Bad posture is not just a question of having a good physical appearance. There are also health consequences such as headaches, back aches, muscular imbalance, spinal disc degeneration, trouble breathing. Your lungs cannot widen when compressed by your chest.

Overtime, I do not want to get a hunchback because of bad posture. Do you?

Increase your flexibility!downward facing dog stretch pose

Flexibility is essential and even more as we age. As you extend your body, you improve your mobility. Agility enables you to perform daily activities comfortably. As I get older, I do wish to be able to bend over as I please!

Just a few minutes of expanding your muscles a day is needed to successfully increase your elasticity. Just less than 5 minutes! I can do this!

Keep yourself from injuries!

Improving your overall flexibility can keep you from getting chronic painful diseases such as tendinitis caused by tight muscles and tissues. By improving your range of motion, you reduce the risk of getting injured. The muscles get the nutrients needed to recover faster from injuries. When you stretch, it helps circulate the natural oil called synovial fluid that lubricates your joints and thus protects them from wearing out overtime.

Increase your blood circulation!

Shorten muscles shrink the blood vessels keeping them from effectively distributing nutrients to the organs. The slow down of blood circulation also keeps the waste from fully evacuate. As toxins accumulates, knots form and we end up feeling tense and sore.

Lengthening your body increases the blood flow which keeps the blood pressure balanced and the heart from overworking and getting fatigued. It distributes efficiently oxygen that is vital to our major organs and cells.

Here’s a great stretching pose to get your blood flowing. It is simple and easy to do: the “Legs up the wall” pose!

Improve your physical performance!

Stiffness stops you from giving the best physical performance. Lengthening and opening your muscles and tissues gives you more freedom to move. It prepares your body to exercise.

Tightness also increases the straining of muscles in your back. Elongating furthers your range of motion so it helps to heal back pain, strengthening your muscles.

Reduce your soreness!

Muscle soreness is one symptom of muscle damage induced by exercising. When you expand your body before and after a workout, you relax the muscles and tendons. Beforehand you prepare them for what is to come, increasing the blood flow and oxygen they need. After exercising, you relieve the muscles by detoxifying them, helping them to get rid of the waste accumulated in the tissues and removing the lactic acid. 

Reduce your cholesterol!

Build-ups from cholesterol doesn’t happen when maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Since stretching increases the blood circulation, it enables the blood to circulate evenly, keeping the walls of your arteries free of cholesterol build-ups. Physical activity keeps the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) low and raises the HDL (good cholesterol).

It is obvious why stretching is so important after discovering all the health benefits we get from it! It is an essential exercise routine. You warm up your muscles, lubricate your joints, intensify your brain function, improve your mood, increase your energy and enhance your metabolism. What else?? In one sentence, expending your body makes you feel so good and prevents you from getting all sorts of diseases. If like myself, you used to think that it was not necessary, I believe you now have changed your mind.
Listen to your body! Some signs that show that you need to stretch are not being able to easily bend to pick up an object, feeling stiff, sore and feeling constantly tired.

Fityourselfbarre is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

You may also like...

15 Comments

  1. Great article! Thanks for pointing out all the benefits of stretching. I’m one of those people that like to skip the post workout stretch (always in a hurry). But now that I’ve read all the benefits, this is very motivation to do the stretches! I will start right away!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      I am glad it inspired you to do stretches, it really feels so good and is so beneficial!!

  2. riverdogg says:

    Great post on why stretching is so important. I used to not take stretching very seriously but after some pretty gnarly cramps in my lower leg muscles I quickly changed my tune! I do normal stretches but I also have spiced it up a bit when I found Shifu Yan Xin, he taught me some really cool stretching and breathing exercises (based in Chinese Kung Fu). Have a good one Anne-Caroline.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Stretching and breathing techniques are so beneficial and effectively complement any workout routine. Have a good one too!!

  3. Henderson says:

    Wow, this Isa very good article on stretching. I like the way you have given all the detailed information on stretching and the benefits. I think this is an exercise that I personally need to pertake in because of all the helps it has for the body system. One that I think I will be more interested in is the benefit it has on eradicating stress. That’s very good. Thank you very much!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Stress is a real problem and stretching does help! Some stretching poses favors meditation such as the leg up the wall pose. You should read my article about it. It is easy to do and soooo beneficial. 

      https://fityourselfbarre.com/the-awesome-health-benefits-of-the-legs-up-the-wall-stretch-pose/

  4. excersising is more needed in the time love the site keep up the work.

  5. John says:

    For every sport type that I have indulged in, before we start off training or any exercise, we are always made to stretch. This goes a long way to interprete the importance of that exercise to the metabolism of the system. I didn’t know that it had more uses and benefits as well. Since I sleep so much, I think it will be useful to me in that specific area. Good post here. Best regards!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you! It will help with your sleep.

  6. Colleen says:

    Anne-Caroline, you have a beautiful site and a lot of helpful information, so I’ll be back to read more of your posts. I’m so glad that you are able to live your dream and do what you’re passionate about. You have definitely convinced me that I need to do better about stretching b/c it has so many benefits. Sometimes I get in a hurry and do less stretching, so I’ll be changing that! I see that there are Barre classes near me, so I’ll have to check them out. Right now, I’m waiting on a broken toe to heal before I take a Barre class. Thanks again for giving us such a comprehensive list of stretching benefits. 🙂

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you, really appreciate it!! You will love Barre, I am sure!

  7. Neil Brown says:

    Physical fitness is a large factor in today’s society and growing by the day, for all the fitness trainers and trainees I bet the number of people that actually do stretching is a lot lower than what it should be. Stretching is such a vital part of health that it only stand’s to reason if everyone spent a little time out of their day stretching, the world would be filled with more productive people.

    I have suffered with lower back issues for the past twenty seven years and it has progressively become worse, now over the past year I have been keeping up with a stretching regimen centralized around the problem area and it has been very beneficial to having a stronger lower back, straightened posture and becoming more limber.

    Just a little food for thought, have you ever kept track of how many times a day a cat spends stretching? I don’t know but we should follow their example, thanks for your very helpful and informative information.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Haha, right cats are kings at stretching!! Try the leg up the wall pose, that will help with lover back issues. Here’s an article I wrote about it. Thank you!

      https://fityourselfbarre.com/the-awesome-health-benefits-of-the-legs-up-the-wall-stretch-pose/

  8. Fabi says:

    Hi, nice article! I once read about stretching when I was having a good jogging discipline and added it to my training before I used to run. It really felt better, and now I know why I should do it before and after the training. I really enjoyed reading your article because there’s so much information in it about what stretching or not stretching does to the body – it certainly makes sense to add it to a daily discipline. Do you also have certain practice tips for stretching? Thanks for your post.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      A good practice tip is to warm up your muscles as well as only stretch to the point of little discomfort. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *