Taking time to stretch each morning can help improve flexibility and energize you for the day ahead. Most people feel like stretching when they wake up to relieve stiff joints and improve blood circulation. Plus, a stretch or two can improve mental health by reconnecting you with your body and distracting you from your mind.
In addition to these benefits, it feels good to move your body after lying in bed for seven to eight hours. Some people like to stretch during breaks at work or when they get home after a long day. Practicing these exercises before and after workouts is also essential to prevent muscle strain.
No matter when you decide to do movements, they will help you improve your mental and physical well-being. Below, we’ll dive into the benefits of stretching and give you some exercises to try at home.
This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Stretch Every Morning
1. Improves flexibility
Performing these movements daily helps increase your flexibility because it lengthens the muscles. Most experts recommend stretching for at least 10 to 30 seconds to get the full benefit from the exercise. Having increased flexibility might not seem so important, but it helps reduce joint stiffness and mobility issues as you age. Naturally, you lose cartilage in your joints and bones as you age, so regular stretching is essential.
2. Improve range of motion
When you don’t move often, your joints and muscles can become stiff and inflexible. This can lead to shortened and brittle muscles, which increases the risk of injuries such as strains and fractures. However, frequent stretching can help loosen tight muscles and improve your range of motion. In fact, one study found that static and dynamic stretching, in particular, can help increase your range of motion.
3. Improves Athletic Performance
Any athletic trainer or health expert will stress the importance of stretching before exercising. Warming up before a game or training session prepares the muscles for movement and relieves tension in the body. Therefore, having greater flexibility and a greater range of motion can help improve your athletic performance. Stretching after a sporting event is also essential to reduce the risk of injury.
4. Increases blood circulation throughout the body
When you stretch regularly, blood flow improves and the supply of nutrients to the muscles increases. Therefore, increased blood circulation improves oxygen levels in the body, helping you feel more energized and refreshed. Finally, better circulation can reduce recovery time after a workout and soothe sore muscles.
5. Stretching improves posture
Tight, stiff muscles can lead to poor posture due to limited range of motion and inflexibility. In turn, sagging can put extra strain on your muscles, causing them to shorten and weaken. It’s a vicious cycle that can eventually lead to injury if you’re not careful.
But studies show that strength training and stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and improve spinal alignment. This can improve your posture over time.
6. Relieves back pain
Low back pain is one of the most common complaints among people and the leading cause of disability worldwide. Increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the prevalence of desk jobs have reduced our range of motion, leading to muscle stiffness and soreness. However, regular exercise and stretching can improve mobility and help relieve tension in your back muscles. Improving your body strength and muscle mass will improve your physical health, reducing the risk of back injuries.
7. Making time to stretch every day relieves stress.
Stress originates in the mind, so eliminating it at the source can help prevent body aches. When you feel stressed, your body naturally tenses up, preventing energy from flowing evenly. However, stretching reminds you to slow down and focus on your breathing, which can help calm your mind. It also gives you a pause in reflection as you reconnect with your body. Like yoga, stretching is a mind-body exercise that promotes overall well-being and positive energy.
Three main techniques for stretching every morning or whenever you want
There are many types of exercises, but the most common forms are:
- Static stretches. A static stretch involves extending your muscles as far as possible and holding the pose for 10 to 30 seconds. These help lengthen the muscles by stretching the muscle fibers and relieving tension. Perform them after a workout to reduce the risk of injury.
- Dynamic stretches. While static stretching is a passive exercise, dynamic stretching involves more movement. It’s best to warm up with these exercises before a workout to increase blood circulation and improve range of motion. Some dynamic stretching ideas include the hip swing with a twist, front kicks, and side lunges. Hold each pose for two to three seconds and repeat six to eight repetitions.
- Ballistic stretches. Finally, ballistic stretching involves repetitive bouncing to help stretch specific muscle groups. The exercises require extending your joints and muscles to an above average range of motion. Most of the time, these movements are only used for sports exercises with proper supervision, as uncontrolled movements can lead to injury. Therefore, most people should stick with dynamic and static options.
Try five to ten minutes of muscle lengthening techniques if you don’t stretch regularly. Try to hold each position for at least ten seconds and focus on the areas where you have the most tension, such as your back, shoulders, and neck. It is essential to go at your own pace to avoid injuring yourself or putting too much strain on your muscles. Talk to your doctor before starting a stretching routine if you have any physical limitations or injuries.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Stretching Every Morning
Everyone should remember the importance of exercising their joints and muscles on a daily basis. However, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles have highlighted the urgent need for exercise and self-care. We can feel more energized and restore our health by taking a few moments to stretch our sore and stiff muscles.
The movement can also help relieve back pain and improve blood circulation, thereby increasing vitality. While stretching isn’t a substitute for cardio and weightlifting, it’s an integral part of any exercise routine.
At the very least, stretching every morning is a very good start to approaching the day in a different way.
I hope you will notice the mental and physical benefits of these movements and feel encouraged to continue the practice.