There are many benefits to regular and passive stretching. It can reduce stiffness and help increase your flexibility.  This is crucial for your overall health. Flexibility helps you to perform everyday activities with relative ease. It can also help delay the reduced mobility that can come with work and aging.  Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles.  Oxygenated blood rich muscles can improve your circulation. Better circulation can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness, known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), following workouts or chores.

Stretching also increases your Range of Motion (ROM). Being able to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement. Studies have found that both static and dynamic stretching are effective when it comes to increasing ROM, although proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, where you stretch a muscle to its limit, may be most effective for immediate gains.  Regular stretching, however, improves your performance over time in physical activities.

Another important benefit of stretching is that it improves your posture.  Muscle imbalances are common and can lead to poor posture. It has been found that a combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment. This, in turn, may help improve your overall posture. We encourage people to stretch to heal and prevent back pain.  Tight muscles can lead to a decrease in your range of motion. When this happens, you increase the likelihood of straining the muscles in your back. Stretching can help heal an existing back injury by stretching the muscles.  A regular stretching routine can also help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing your risk for muscle strain.  Then you can stand tall and straight.

Stretching loosens your muscles and tendons which relieves muscle fatigue and increases blood flow. The longer you exercise the more energy you burn, typically causing one to grow fatigued. With stretching, you can delay the onset of muscle fatigue by ensuring oxygen is efficiently flowing through your blood, thereby increasing your endurance.  A stretching program increases stamina and decreases the risk of injury. It will help to supply a greater nutrient supply to muscles, thereby reducing muscle soreness and helping to speed recovery from muscle and joint injuries.

Here is a secret…Stretching can improve your energy level.  This bebefit comes not just the passive stretching we provide but just stretching in general.  Sometimes we may have trouble getting going or even staying awake during our long, dragging day. If you are 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 become 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.

Stretching is also great for stress relief.  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. This is just the way we are wired. Stretching loosens tight muscles which helps your muscles both relax and increase blood flow.  To relieve stress we focus on areas of your body where you tend to hold your stress, such as your neck, shoulders, and upper back.  As you release tension in these areas your stress become allayed.  There is a reason we are called the Allay Balance Center and Allay Stress Spa.  Such stretching also encourages the release of endorphins, providing a sense of tranquility and euphoria.  Appropriate stretching encourages an optimistic outlook to better face the world.  We encourage you to continue stretching at home.  Stretching soon after waking up can help jump-start the mind and body.  Stretching directly before bed will even give you a more comfortable sleeping experience.

Participating in a regular stretching, including a passive stretching program, not only helps address stress, but it can also calm your mind. While you stretch, we encourage you to focus on mindfulness and meditation exercises or music, which give your mind a mental break.   This practice, in turn, helps to decrease tension headaches.  Tension and stress headaches can interfere with your daily life. In addition to a proper diet, adequate hydration, and plenty of rest, stretching may help reduce the tension you feel from these headaches.


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