We all know that exercise is important, but few of us place a high value on post-workout stretching. After a tough workout, we opt instead for a tall glass of water and a long rest. Of course, there are many well-known benefits to stretching. For example, according to Mayo Clinic, basic stretching can improve flexibility and therefore help decrease the chance of injury.
But that’s not all stretching can do. The practice can also positively affect other areas of your life. Here are a few must-do stretches and how they’ll benefit your body.
Improve sleep with “sleeping swan.” Grab a pillow and breathe deep as you stretch your neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs. Fitness Magazine provides instructions and a helpful photo.
Decrease back pain with “downward-facing dog.” EverydayHealth.com emphasizes how beneficial yoga can be for back pain sufferers. It cites a Journal Archives of Internal Medicine study which found “people who took yoga or stretching classes are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications for their backaches as people who managed symptoms on their own.” If you’re struggling with back pain, downward-facing dog is a great pose to include in your practice.
Boost metabolism with “dog split.” Yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body, but it can also be a great workout. Health.com presents a series of metabolism-boosting poses to help you become stronger and slimmer. Kick off a great routine with the dog split.
Improve posture with the “kneeling hip flexor stretch.” Many of us sit all day, which leads to tight hips and bad posture. Fitbie.com explains how the kneeling hip flexor stretch can help.
Relieve headaches with the “behind the back stretch.” If, like many, you suffer from tension headaches, LiveStrong.com presents a way to help relieve that pain. You’ll need a chair to perform this stretch.
These are so many reasons to incorporate stretching into your daily life – I’ve just mentioned five! If I haven’t convinced you of the importance, spend five minutes doing your own research to see what the experts say. If I have convinced you, spend those five minutes giving your body some stretching time!