Remember, if you have severe back issues or previous back injury, it is always best to talk with your doctor before trying any new exercises or stretches.
By Cheryl Caplow
What is stretching?
Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. What happens if we don’t stretch? As you age, your muscles tighten and range of motion in the joints can be minimized. This can put a damper on active lifestyles and even hinder day-to-day, normal motions. Tasks that used to be simple, such as zipping up a dress or reaching for a can off of the top shelf, now become extremely difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier.
Are there benefits from stretching?
Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program:
Stretching is important for people of all ages! One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you’re able to increase your range of motion, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs.
Why does stretching feel good?
Regardless of the scientific and unscientific reasons, we can all agree that stretching generally feels great for a number of reasons. First, the brain is cleared and receives more oxygen. This is especially helpful when waking from a night’s sleep, after a nap, or even after sitting for a sustained period of time. When the body is at rest it uses less oxygen, breathing becomes shallower and the blood circulates more slowly. Stretching galvanizes the body’s metabolism and kicks it up a few notches—almost like turning up a rheostat.
Plus, in addition to that good feeling, a consistent stretching program will improve flexibility and joint movement.
Best of all, nothing seems more satisfying than stretching one’s back. Maybe that’s because our backs are the center of our nervous systems and bear most of our weight, including all that stuff we lift and carry around. Is it any wonder that it is estimated that about 80% of us experience back pain on a regular basis?
So start stretching today and let us know on our Body Archer Facebook page how much better you, and your back, feel!