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You Could Be Just a Stretch Away from a Great Day

By Sandy Schroeder

Stretching is important before cardio exercises or runs, and it eases the body at work, but sometimes we just forget to do it. 

Prevention tells us why it is so important to keep stretching in the loop.

Limber Bodies Stay Pain-Free

Avoid stiff muscles and creaky joints with range of motion exercises such as wrist bends, knee lifts and shoulder shrugs. Any stretch that keeps the muscles and joints moving through their full range of motion may help to keep the body flexible.

Energize the Afternoon

Stretching can wake up your afternoon when you feel your mind and body begin to droop. Stand up and run through a few stretches to get the blood flowing through your brain and your body. You won't even need a latte to finish up the day.

Avoid Workout Injuries

Pull together a few warm-up exercises to stretch cold muscles before your workout. Stretching the body protects the body from injuries and switches the brain into a workout mode.

Avoid Taking a Fall

Stretching before you walk or run could help you avoid falls. Researchers believe stretching tunes up fine motor coordination to reduce falls.Stretching also loosens up the body to avoid muscle cramps that can trigger falls.

Lose All of That Stress

If your back is in knots or your shoulders seem to be up around your ears, you may need to cut through mental and physical tension with some easy stretches. Find some that you like and ease into them. Never force a stretch. Stop if there is pain.

Improve Your Blood Sugar

Exercise has been proven to improve glucose readings. Stretching helps in the same way. Researchers studied the stretching habits of adults who were pre-diabetic or had type 2 diabetes. They found those who stretched for 40 minutes after drinking a sugary beverage had lower blood sugar levels than those who did not stretch.

Power Ahead in Heavy Workouts 

Stretching is important for runners and weight lifters, allowing for a better range of motion. Use dynamic stretches before a workout to increase joint flexibility and body temperature. Use static stretches at the end of a workout to cool down.

When you make stretching a habit you may be surprised how much more limber your body becomes. Enjoy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Morrisville, N.C.

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