Stretching is the simple bending and reaching motions which benefits have been underestimated. Stretching not only helps you limber up for movement but also can help ease an achy back, undo the stress of the day, and even improve your sleep. Better yet, anyone can get these benefits, whether you’re a regular stretcher or haven’t touched your toes in years. Here are seven reasons to make stretching the single most important thing you do more often.
You’ll build better balance
We’ve all had the experience of our feet or legs connecting with something unexpected. Thanks to the improved balance you get from stretching, you’ll be more likely to remain upright.
You’ll improve your range of motion
Stretching gives you a bigger range of motion—and that’s something you need all day long. It’s what allows you to scratch that elusive spot on your shoulder blade, reach that item on the top shelf, and, yes, unhook your own bra strap.
You’ll sleep better
Stretching helps sleep come more easily. In addition to helping you to relax, stretching can alleviate some of the problems that tend to keep us up at night. Take leg cramps: If you tend to get them, a few weeks of stretching may reduce their severity and frequency.
You’ll protect your overall health
Thanks to improved blood circulation, stretching may help improve the health of blood vessels throughout your body, helping to reduce your risk of heart disease.
You’ll reduce pain
Do you sit too much at work? Stretching can address the pain you feel from sitting too much. In one randomized controlled trial, office workers who were taught a series of stretches to do daily reported less neck, shoulder, or back pain than workers who didn’t stretch.
You’ll feel terrific!
Stretching can seamlessly slide into your wellness routine. Even if you haven’t logged one minute of physical activity in years, you can start a stretching routine with ease and use it to achieve some of your biggest health goals.