Aging Well With Daily Stretches
By Donna Stark
It's simple. It's free. And it doesn't matter if you are into fitness or not. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine. But don't get the wrong idea, because it certainly doesn't need to be complicated. You don't need to contort your body into awkward positions nor do you need a machine to hold you in place. You just need to get out of bed or take a break from what you are doing and perform some simple movements. Why? Well, your flexibility and overall wellness depend on it!
Stretching for Future Health
A lack of flexibility can significantly impact your quality of life without you even realizing it. It can affect your balance, change your posture, and increase your risk of chronic pain, but fortunately, you can fight back with some simple stretches. Take a look at how stretching can improve not only your flexibility but your overall health as well.
- Improves flexibility and range of motion - Stretching frequently throughout the week becomes more important as you age because the body's muscles tend to become shorter and tighter as the years pass. Stretching is a great way to decrease muscle tension, improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury to the body's tendons, muscles, and joints.
- Decreases stress - Have you noticed that when you are stressed, your neck becomes tight? That's because stress causes muscles to contract, and that can lead to things that can really put a damper on your days, such as pain and headaches. But if you stretch daily, you can relax those muscles and encourage the release of endorphins, which can boost your mood and help reduce stress.
- Increases circulation - Improving your blood circulation increases blood flow, which is a vital process in the delivery of nutrients to your muscles and cartilage. Increased blood flow can also reduce muscle soreness and shorten your recovery time after a workout.
- Reduces back pain - Poor posture and tight muscles can lead to an increased risk of injury and significant back pain, but with daily stretches, you can decrease the chances of that happening. Just remember, several muscles play a role in posture, so be sure to exercise them all (hamstrings, lower back muscles, hip flexors, and quadriceps). Stretching can also help an existing injury heal.
Living Your Healthiest Life
If you want to protect your mobility and improve your overall health, stretching should be performed on a daily basis, so make sure you plan for it every day. If you go to the gym, let it be your warm-up. If you are at home, stretch in front of the TV. It's easy to fit into your schedule and worth all of your effort!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.