Don’t Forget to Stretch – Why Stretching is an Important Part of Your Exercise Routine

Tips to Improve Your Performance and Overall 

By now, you probably already know how important regular exercise is for supporting mobility and maintaining overall health, especially as you get older. Stretching should be an essential component of your exercise routine but for a lot of people, it is usually the part that gets overlooked the most. Proper stretching is a preventative health measure that can improve your flexibility and keep muscles strong. At any age, stretching is important after exercise, as it can also help limit the aches and pains that are often associated with physical activity. Whether you’re new to exercise or an elite athlete, don’t forget to stretch regularly as there are many benefits in doing so. 

The Benefits of Regular Stretching

If you’re new to regular stretching, take it slow. Just like other forms of physical activity, your body needs time to adjust, in addition to learning how to perform the correct forms and techniques in order to avoid getting injured. An easy way to begin is to start from your head and work your way down your toes. Here are some of the benefits of regular stretching:

  • Enhances Physical Performance: Stretching before partaking in physical activities can increase your flexibility and make it much easier to perform daily tasks such as lifting, turning, bending and performing other repetitive movements. If you are an athlete, stretching can also improve your performance by preparing your muscles before they undergo physical stress. 
  • Increases Range of Motion: Moving your joints through its full range of motion offers you more freedom of movement. This is particularly important if you are older, since our joints often lose their range of motion as we age. Even if your range of motion is limited in some of your joints, regular stretching can help improve this. 
  • Maintain Proper Posture: If your back, chest or hip muscles are tight, this can lead to poor posture. If you work at a desk all day, incorporating short but frequent periods of stretching can prevent these muscles from tightening up. This can help you maintain better posture, as well as reduce aches and pains. 
  • Improves Circulation: Stretching on a regular basis has shown to improve circulation, since it raises the temperature of your muscle tissue. Increased blood flow to your muscles can shorten recovery time post exercise and reduce muscle soreness. 
  • Prevents Injuries and Reduce Stress-Related Tension: Stretching before engaging in a physical activity can help prevent injury by encouraging blood to flow to your muscles which warms them up and decreases any tightness they may have. Increasing the range in which a muscle can stretch, helps prevent muscle strains or tears. 

Regular stretching can be as simple as incorporating 5-10 minutes of both dynamic and static stretches into your daily routine. While it may not sound like much, regular stretching for a few minutes each day can go a long way when it comes to improving your physical and mental health. Before embarking on a new stretching program, it’s important to work with your physical therapist from Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania to obtain the proper guidance. Our trained and licensed physical therapists can help you make the most out of your new exercise routine, whether you’re recovering from an injury or focusing on injury prevention. We can design a treatment plan that is specific to your needs and successfully guide you through the program safely and at a pace you are comfortable with.   

To learn more about our physical therapy services or to book your appointment, contact us at the location of your choice, or complete our online form and our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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