Maybe you stretch when you wake up in the morning, or before bed in the evening. Maybe you stretch before a workout. Maybe stretching IS your workout. Maybe you’re so mentally and emotionally stretched that you feel as if physically stretching yourself will send you over the limit. Maybe you avoid the practice altogether because “Who wants to turn themselves into a pretzel shape anyway?” Whatever your view on stretching is, there’s no denying the facts: it’s good for you. Speaking in terms of physicality alone, stretching your body several times a day improves flexibility and concentration, and has been found to reduce chances of stroke and heart attack. This is because stretching happens to reduce arterial stiffening, a common symptom of aging. (healthydocs.net) By engaging your muscles and preventing them from becoming stiff with disuse, you’ll ensure they remain strong even during the aging process.
You don’t have to be flexible to stretch, but in time, stretching leads to improved flexibility. Taking a few moments to still your mind and stretch is a healthy habit that will ensure not only physical, but mental stability amidst an otherwise hectic lifestyle. With continued practice, stretching improves balance, flexibility, posture, and circulation. It’s an important part of any workout too, it warms you up in preparation for more vigorous exercise, and cools you down after that exercise. Stretching as exercise, in the form of yoga or aerobics, is also a healthy way to improve your flexibility while getting in shape. A short stretch break is also useful in clearing your head and helping you relax when you’re stressed. It’s helpful in “shaking off the cobwebs” when you feel like they’ve settled over you.