Recovery days are so important to allow the body to properly repair itself. If you keep breaking your muscles down with intense exercise without proper recovery, the chances of injury and muscular imbalances becomes much higher. If you have time for any form of fitness in your day, it should be stretching. As Americans we spend more time crouching down to look at our phone and computer screens than we do being physically active. So here are 5 reasons to wake up and stretch.
- Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion
Basically you are giving your hips, knees, shoulders and ankles a longer shelf life.
- Reduced Risk of Injury
Think of your muscles like a piece of chewing gum; the more you massage it the more flexible it becomes. If you really work on your flexibility, you also decrease your risk of injury during explosive or more dynamic forms of exercise. If your favorite type of exercise is playing a sport, flexibility is key to engaging without injury.
- Improves Posture
The time spent on our phones, laptops, etc., increases the strain in our neck and upper back or thoracic spine. Your grandma told you to practice good posture, and she is right! Try getting into a crab position right now by laying on your back, knees up, feet planted hip-distance apart, hands planted with fingers turned back at 6 0’clock. Lift your hips up, press through the heels of your hands, open the chest and release the head back and say Ahhhhhh. Hold for about 10 seconds and lower. Repeat about 5 times for some serious chest, hip and shoulder opening.
- Decreases Stress and Tension in the body
Plain and simple; a well stretched body holds less tension thus making you feel less stressed and more relaxed. Get into the habit of stretching fist thing in the morning and right before bed.
- Decreases Risk of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is probably the most common type of pain in anyone 30+, am I right? By increasing flexibility in the major muscle groups of the legs (quadriceps, hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes) that are attached to the lumbo-pelvic region (low back/pelvis) helps to relieve stress on lower back.
*** Bonus: Increased flexibility makes sexy time more fun
If the above five reasons weren’t enough then this one should be! Enjoy the increased blood flow to your nether region and you and your partner may be able to master parts of the Kama Sutra you never thought possible.