The Surprising Benefits of Making Stretching a Daily Routine

The Surprising Benefits of Making Stretching a Daily RoutineMany athletes view stretching as a tedious task, but it has so many more benefits than just readying the body for activity, cooling it down, and developing a bigger range of movement. Stretching helps the flow of blood, decreases the possibility of injury, aids in weight loss, and, as millions of yogis know, can help reduce stress. Your mental state can affect your body, and stretching is a great way to ease your mind and body.

Experts at Harvard Medical School say that yoga, even without meditation and controlled breathing, can help reduce stress. Tension builds up in muscles when we’re feeling overwhelmed, but with yoga we can learn to loosen up and let go of the stress in our bodies.

Uncovered by a recent study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, there is an exciting benefit of daily stretching – it can reduce your blood pressure! Even more impressive, this research reveals that 30 minutes of stretching five days a week is more effective for combating hypertension (high blood pressure that increases your risk of stroke and heart disease) than a comparable amount of time spent on brisk walks.

At the University of Saskatchewan, researchers conducted a study with 40 male adults, aged around 60 and all with high blood pressure. They were randomly assigned either a stretching or walking exercise routine. The former group went through 21 different 30-second exercises, with 15 seconds of rest in between, and their blood pressure was monitored for an 8-week period. The results showed that stretching had a more positive effect on their blood pressure than walking.

The study authors concluded that this finding is significant, as it provides individuals with various exercise choices for lowering blood pressure. Additionally, they suggested that, as walking is known to reduce other heart-related risks, such as waist circumference, it would be most beneficial to combine stretching with aerobic exercise for optimal cardiovascular health.

How Can I Add Stretching to My Daily Routine?

If you want to incorporate some stretching into your regular routine, here are three great exercises to try. Not only will they help you de-stress and relax, but they’ll also keep your heart healthy. Below you will find some of the stretches that we recommend to our chiropractic patients.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

To perform the Standing Hamstring Stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knee. Reach your hands to the back of your legs and lean forward until your head is near your toes. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Hip Flexor Stretch (kneeling)

Kneel down on one knee with your other leg out in front with your foot flat on the floor.  You may want to put something under your knee for cushion.  Tighten your glutes and stomach muscles, then lean forward with your back straight.  You should feel a stretch of your hip flexor muscles. Remain in this position for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Figure 4 Seated Stretch

Sit on a chair without arms and cross one leg over the other by bringing the ankle and foot of one leg onto the thigh of the other leg.  Take one hand and push down gently on the knee of the crossed leg.  While holding that knee down, take in a breath, and as you exhale bend at the waist and lean down toward the floor.  Continue to breathe at least 5 times, each time bending down farther on each exhale.  Release and repeat on the other side.

What Are The Benefits of Chiropractic Care With Stretching?

If your posture is poor and your spine not aligned, then your nervous system may not be function at its best and may lead to discomfort while stretching.  At Hunt Spinal Care, we focus on freeing up your nervous system by improving your posture, which helps you function better and may make it easier to stretch.

Why Choose Hunt Spinal Care?

With a gentle approach, no popping, twisting, or cracking, we get powerful results.  When was the last time you had your nervous system checked for interference and dysfunction?  Don’t wait until you feel pain to get your body aligned.  To get started on the right foot with stretching, contact Hunt Spinal Care today for more information and a consultation!

For More Information:

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Phone: (918) 459-0333
Text: (918) 221-8693

7614 E 91st Street, Suite 160, Tulsa, OK 74133-6047

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