Don’t think you need to regularly stretch? No matter your age or lifestyle, everyone needs to stretch on a regular basis. Sometimes people think only pro athletes need to have a stretching routine. And sometimes people think that only people with limited mobility would benefit from getting stretched. But the truth is anyone can experience life enhancing benefits from regularly stretching.
Being able to implement stretching into a weekly routine can provide a wide array of benefits for the body and mind. Three of our favorite benefits are increased range of motion and flexibility, better posture, and improved mental well-being!
Improved range of motion and flexibility
Range of motion or ROM is the joint's ability to move without restriction. Whereas flexibility is the ability of muscles, tendons, and ligaments to elongate through that range of motion. The two work hand-in-hand to help improve and maintain mobility. We may not think we need to be super flexible unless we’re doing sports like gymnastics or yoga, but having healthy flexibility is essential for being able to do daily activities such as putting on our shoes, getting in and out of a seat, or bending down to pick something off the floor. We typically don’t realize how crucial flexibility is for day-to-day life until it’s gone.
Improving ROM and flexibility can also enhance your athletic performance. The more flexibility you have within a muscle, the more you’re able to utilize it within a workout. For example, increasing the range of motion in your shoulder will improve your ability to create a powerful tennis swing. Improving your hamstring flexibility will improve your ability to deadlift. If your goal is to perform better on the field or in the gym, you need to have the flexibility and range of motion to be able to perform your best.
Better posture and decreased pain
Do you slouch a little more than you know you should? When we slouch, it causes tightness in our chest muscles, making it harder to straighten out and maintain posture. Stretching helps increase flexibility in your shoulders and chest to help reduce tightness. Simultaneously, it also strengthens muscles in your upper body that can help you maintain better posture.
Many people also don’t realize that bad posture has a pretty big hand in back pain. Bad posture can cause misalignment and muscle imbalances, causing tightness and pain in your back. Stretching, with the incorporation of a press and release technique called PNF, can help correct these muscle imbalances and strengthen the muscles allowing for better posture.
Restored state of mind
Ready to de-stress? Stretching can play a big role in improving one’s mental well-being! Stretching helps release endorphins through the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to feel more at peace and relaxed.
Endorphins are the body's natural reward system. They are the feel-good chemicals that are released during exercise. And lucky for us, they are also released during stretching! When the parasympathetic nervous is activated, we enter the “rest and digest” state which brings on feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Get Stretched, Feel the Difference
Stretching is something everyone can benefit from. But in order to experience the full benefits, you need to stretch regularly and stretch deeply. Being able to hold a stretch in a deep position is essential for seeing improvements, but it’s not the easiest thing to do. And just like working out, if you want to see results, you need to maintain your progress.
This is why many people prefer to get stretched! An assisted stretch at StretchLab allows people to work with a highly trained Flexologist who can help them get a deeper stretch than they could on their own. A Flexologist is able to identify imbalances and tightness and pinpoint what needs to be stretched to feel relief. Plus, with a StretchLab membership, anyone can get stretched on a weekly basis. This allows our members to maintain the progress they make each time they get stretched and see better results each time they come back for a session.
At StretchLab, our members range from six-year-old gymnasts to eighty-year-old grandparents. So if you’re not sure if regularly getting stretched can benefit you, we’re here to tell you it can.