Stretching might not sound as beneficial as running or eating green vegetables and it is often not given the recognition it deserves. The truth is that stretching out your muscles for just a few minutes each day can have just as great an impact as regular exercise.
When balancing your exercise routine, you should always incorporate stretches in order to increase your flexibility and strength. While practices like yoga can be quite difficult to get the hang of in the beginning, knowing just a few simple stretches you can use will certainly help you along the way. You can always try yoga once you are used to the sensation of stretching your muscles and have a little more balance!
Relax Your Muscles
Over the course of the day, your muscles do a lot of work. For this effort, you should reward your body by relaxing and releasing the stress you placed on it, especially when you are recovering after a workout. Even if you are stranded in an office, sat in a chair that does nothing for your posture, your muscles are there to keep you together and hold you up.
If you are looking at a computer for most of the day, a few upper back stretches will do you a lot of good. Your shoulders and neck do a lot of work without you realizing it so just 10 minutes of stretches will help to reduce the buildup of lactic acid. The main idea here is that the stretching increases the blood flow to your muscles, bringing enough oxygen to break the acid down.
Increase Your Flexibility
Though we tend to focus on stamina and strength in the gym, flexibility is just as important. With our modern way of living effectively consigning us to spending a lot of time in one or two positions, we are all gradually losing our range of motion. This is a problem because as we get older, the less flexible we are, the more likely we are to injure ourselves.
Though the mechanics of stretching are still not completely clear to scientists, what is clear is that the more frequently people stretch, the deeper they can lean into it. So, the more often you do a stretching routine such as yoga or Pilates, the more benefit you will see.
The world is chaotic and finding even a moment to have to yourself can be quite the challenge. Even when you think you are relaxing, you are probably still scrolling through social media feeds or checking email!
When you are stretching, there is pretty much nothing else you can do other than be in the moment. This is why mindfulness practices so often use similar techniques to a yoga routine. Taking the time to focus on your breathing and the way that your body is moving is a great way to root yourself again and have 10 minutes that are truly your own.
If you want to relax, increase your flexibility and manage a few minutes to yourself, stretching every day is your best option.
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