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Stretching against Stress

By Allen Bryan

 

Have you ever felt sore after a long run, or had a strain on your body? If so, stretching may be very beneficial. Stretching is deliberately flexing a muscle or tendon in order to lengthen it. In doing so, your muscles’ range of motion increases which makes it less like to strain or pull a muscle.

Stretching has been used for a very long time as a way to loosen the muscles, which helps prevent joint stress and pain. Without stretching, our muscles can shorten and tighten, limiting the range of motion in our bodies. So, when you call on your muscles for exercise, they will be weak and unable to extend fully, causing muscle, tendon, and joint pain. Tense and tight joints can also lead to bad body posture. Stretching lengthens the muscles that keep your body in correct form. Stretching even increases the blood flow to your muscles which brings in nutrition that helps with the body’s soreness.

Everyone has stress. Stress can cause your muscles to contract and become stiff and tight. Stretching for even 10-15 minutes a day can calm and soothe the mind, and is a quick and soothing way to give the body a mental break and rest. Researchers have studied that when stretching, you are more likely to breathe deeper, resulting in better blood circulation causing your body to be relaxed.

There are many stretches out there that are beneficial to your body. However, there are a few basic yet very important stretches that you should do every day. Trying to touch your toes with your fingers without bending your legs is a very important stretch. This stretch is an easy way to test your flexibility, and it can help stretch your hamstrings and your back. Another very critical stretch is the neck stretch. By rolling your head in a circular motion, your neck muscles will loosen up and can help neck pain.

Stretching is a perfect way to help loosen your muscles so you can to help prevent muscle and joint pain. It is also a great way to calm your mind and to release any stress that you have. So, if you have just a few minutes to spare, consider stretching. If you are consistent, you will see results just after a few days!

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