We love reading up on health and fitness as a hobby here at Kiht as its always great to try new things and mix up your gym routine to keep it fresh and fun. One thing we are guilty of here is not stretching enough!! I think we focus so much on getting the most out of our gym sessions and the latest fads, that we sometimes forget the importance that stretching plays in both recovery and also endurance.
So to encourage you all to stretch more we have pulled together 5 amazing benefits of stretching and a few great videos to inspire you!
1. It helps with stress
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.
We've got a great easy 5 minute from Yoga With Adriene, its a morning yoga stretch routine which we love to do, as its quick, and simple
2. It can improve posture
We are completely guilty here at Kiht of slouching over our laptops when working!! Stretching can actually help undo those bad habits!
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.
3. 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 one avoid heart diseases.
4. Promotes blood circulation
Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. Not only will this help reduce post-workout soreness and shorten recovery time, but it will improve overall health. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth and organ function. The heart rate will also lower since it doesn’t have to work as hard and blood pressure will become more even and consistent.
5. Improve energy levels
Sometimes you may have trouble staying awake during a long day at work, that 3pm lull can be a killer! 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, we're not saying stand at your desk in the middle of the office and start doing a sun salutation! Maybe just nip to the toilet and do some quick and easy stretches in the cubicle?? It will help your mind and body be more alert. Muscles tighten when we get tired and that makes us feel even more lethargic, so a quick stretch will help you to quickly and efficiently revitalize your energy levels.
Below is another video of a quick 5 minute stretch routine from the brilliant Whitney Simmons
Thanks for reading and please comment below with your favourite stretches, and if you try these videos, let us know what you think!!!