9 benefits of stretching

1. Increase range of motion

Stretching helps in improving flexibility and range of motion. An effective flexibility training program can improve your physical performance and help reduce your risk of injury. By improving your range of motion, your body requires less energy to make the same movements and you also will have more flexible joints thus lessening the likelihood of injuries acquired during workouts or during daily activities.

2. Reduce risk of injury

Being flexible can help to prevent injuries. This can include acute injuries, such as a hamstring strain and overuse injuries such as IT band syndrome or plantar fasciitis. Stretching has been used in the warm-up process for many years. It is thought that having flexible muscles can prevent acute injuries by gently stretching the muscle through its range before exercise.

3. Reduce pain

Stretching is also a fantastic thing to do because it can help to reduce muscle pain. Muscle pain can be caused due to working out too hard and lifting too much weight, something that has to do with those micro tears we mentioned before. Muscle pain can also be caused by overly tight muscles and a lack of flexibility. Stretching can go a very long way in reducing the pain caused by tight muscles.

4. Improve postures

Stretching helps ensure correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position and keeping your muscles loose. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve overall posture by relieving aches and pains. With reduced pain, there is a reduced desire to hunch or slouch.

5. Reduce or manage stress

Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.

6. Improve mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance

By doing flexibility training, you will notice less pain, improved movement, reduced muscle soreness, and improved physical performance. Stretching exercise practices like yoga also help relax muscles, and your mind so you stress less. The feeling of well-being, and vitality you will notice because of a regular flexibility routine can provide many important health benefits.

7. Promote circulation

Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. This helps to reduce post-workout soreness and shorten recovery time, along with improvement in overall health. Also, better blood circulation promotes cell growth and organ function. The heart rate also decreases as it does not have to perform extra and helps in maintaining consistent blood pressure.

8. Decrease risk of low back pain

Stretching promotes muscular relaxation and thus, can reduce risk of low back pain. Since those muscles are commonly contracted throughout the day, due to sitting throughout the day or doing any kind of activities, they can become stressed which leads to back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and other muscles helps to reduce stress on the lower back and reduce the tightening that causes pain.

9. Reduce soreness

Stretching should always be done before and after a workout. This gives your muscles enough time to relax. Stretching increases blood flow in your body which in return increase nutrient supply to the muscles and relieve soreness in the muscles.

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Anupam Ghose, a physician by training, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in 2017. After the diagnosis of T2DM he followed a low carbohydrate high fat (ketogenic) diet and reversed his T2DM within a year. Now he is on a mission to educate people and spread awareness about T2DM. Since he could reverse his T2DM following ketogenic diet, now he is doing extensive research on ketogenic diet and expanding his knowledge on this particular topic. His main goal is to make people understand that the conventional method of treating T2DM is not very helpful and it is very much possible to reverse T2DM through diet and lifestyle modification.

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