We’ve all been told ever since grade school gym class about the importance of stretching after exercise but so few of us take the time to actually do it. Let’s face it, it’s easier to ride out the gratification of a completed workout and go about our day than it is to devote more time just for stretching. Aside from stretching aiding in muscle recovery, are countless other body benefits that may last days after your workout. So check out 4 of our favorite low-key reasons to flex it out!
Regulate your stress hormones and slim down – Since stretching calms and relaxes our nervous system, we can finally do something against it. Being less stressed means we produce less stress hormone. And stretching more means fighting tension and stress. This is important because the stress hormone makes us want to eat more, it represses “feel good” hormones and lowers our energy level. An everyday stretching routine, however, reduces that stress, we produce more of those “feel good” hormones and we are more active throughout the day. Which leads me to #2.
Improves energy levels – Sometimes you may have trouble staying awake during your long, dragging day. If you’re feeling this way then it might help to get out of your seat and do a few good stretches for a boost of energy, helping your mind and body be more alert. Muscles tighten when we get tired and that makes us feel even more lethargic, so feel free to stand up and do some stretches. It will help you to quickly and efficiently revitalize your energy levels.
Encourages an optimistic outlook – A buildup of stress causes your muscles to contract, making you feel tense and uneasy. This tension can lead to having a negative impact on mind as well as your body. Stretching exercises have powerful stress-busting abilities. Stretching soon after waking up can help jump-start the mind and body. Stretching loosens tight muscles which helps your muscles both relax and increase blood flow. It also encourages the release of endorphins, providing a sense of tranquility and euphoria. Stretching directly before bed will even give you a more comfortable sleeping experience.
Reduces cholesterol – Paired with a healthy diet, engaging in prolonged stretching exercises can help reduce cholesterol in the body. This could prevent and even reverse the hardening of arteries, helping you to avoid heart disease in the future.
So remember to flex after your next workout or even throughout the day!