Stretching can help your body stay flexible and limber, which gives you more freedom of movement for your regular physical activity, as well as your everyday activities. Being able to easily and comfortably look over your shoulder as you back-up a car, putting on your socks, or cutting your toe nails, all require some level of flexibility. Maintaining flexibility is an important aspect to good health.
Some of the key benefits of improved flexibility include the following:
- Improved your performance of everyday activities as well as maximizing performance in casual exercise and sports.
- Reduce, or even eliminate pain when performing activities that cause discomfort.
- Reduced risk of injury by maintaining maximum range of motion within the joints.
- Better body posture by ensuring proper body alignment. This is particularly true by maintaining flexibility in the spine, hamstrings and neck.
- Helps to reduce tension and stress in the body, allowing for greater relaxation.
When you think of stretching, you may think back to gym class when you were instructed to do calf stretches, bend over and touch our toes, or get on the floor and do a runner’s stretch before heading out to the field. These types of stretches, when you hold the posture for about 30 seconds, up to two minutes, is called static stretching. It is done while the body is at rest and is designed to loosen muscles and joints before exercising in order to reduce the chances of injury.