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Updated by Fiona on Sep 23, 2016
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5 reasons why you should stretch every day

We all know we should stretch our bodies before and after exercise, but how many of us actually do this properly, or know why we should be doing it? As osteopaths, we know only too well the importance of taking good care of our bodies; taking regular exercise, eating the right foods and maintaining our wellbeing. Let’s take a look at 5 key reasons as to why we should stretch our bodies regularly:

1

It can improve your posture

It can improve your posture

Having good posture is so important, as it keeps the alignment of your spine central. Stretching out the shoulders and lower back can help to keep your spine in the correct alignment, helping you to stand up straight. Good posture is also great for your wellbeing, as it enables you to walk tall and breathe deeply. If you are having issues with your posture and you need your body to be realigned, you might find that a handful of osteopathy sessions may help you to get back on track.

2

It can help to reduce stress

Spending a few minutes gently stretching each day is fantastic at helping to reduce stress within the body. Tight muscles hold a lot of tension which can have a negative impact on the body, but stretching out muscle groups in the shoulders and neck can really help your body to relax, enabling you to move or sit much more comfortably.

3

It increases blood flow within the body

It increases blood flow within the body

Stretching will increase the blood supply to joints and muscles, which in turn will allow the body to absorb oxygen and vital nutrients much more efficiently. Increased circulation will help you to feel brighter and more alert – something many of us crave!

4

It reduces the risk of injury

It’s important to only carry out deep stretches if the muscles are already warm, so you may need to go for a short walk or spend a few minutes jogging on the spot before you carry out your stretches. Don’t be tempted to just launch into your main exercise routine without stretching first though, as working large muscles which have not been warmed up or stretched properly can lead to injury. Also remember to stretch out after a workout session, in order to relax and loosen muscles to avoid the dreaded post-workout aches and pains.

5

It improves the efficiency of your body’s movements

It improves the efficiency of your body’s movements

The body relies on being able to move efficiently even when carrying out mundane, day to day tasks. Regular stretching exercises can help to encourage flexibility in joints – flexible joints require less energy to carry out a specific motion, therefore creating a more energy efficient movement. Keeping your body supple and well balanced will help your body to work to its optimum level, rendering it fit and healthy.