We can probably all remember from our school days how in gym class we used to spend the first five minutes being led through various stretches. Day in and day out, always started off with stretching. Back when I was younger, I thought it was a waste of time. I wanted to get out there and play kickball or even throw a few dodgeballs around. The last thing I wanted to do was spend our precious gym class time doing arm and leg stretches.

And then I got older. I quickly realized the error of my ways.


1. Improved Flexibility

Do you ever get out of bed in the morning and feel like the Tin Man needing a few squirts of oil just to get the joints moving again? The older I get, the more often I start my first morning steps with the robot walk because it takes me a bit to get loosened up. A regular stretching routine makes all the difference in the world for improving flexibility and mobility. Taking 15 minutes stretching in the morning or before and after physical activity can ensure your flexibility stays on point.


2. Increased Blood Circulation

Stretching gets the blood flowing throughout the body. This is a very good thing. Increased blood circulation allows oxygen to flow better to the brain and other organs, healthier skin, improved healing and cell growth, and transports nutrients much more efficiently.


3. Relieves Stress and Promotes Calmness

Many debate whether yoga is just fancy stretching with a different name attached to it. I practice yoga regularly for flexibility and its many health benefits. Regardless of what side you are on in this discussion, stretching can promote calmness and will help let stress melt away from your mind. It really can be a type of meditation as your breathing gets synched in with your body’s movements. Playing some nice soft music during your stretching routine will enhance the outcome as you make a full commitment to relaxing.


4. Decrease Pain

It is quite common to hear people talk about constant pain as they get older. It might be their legs, back, shoulders, or perhaps their neck that is giving them a hard time. In this day and age, it seems like these problems are trying to be solved through medication at the pharmacy. Instead, we should really look at the all-natural route if possible.

Stretching can do wonders for ridding yourself of needless pain. Stretching can relieve tight muscles so they do not feel cramped up all the time and can alleviate pain from your joints as well. Before turning to extra pills to lessen the pain, try stretching and see what that can do. It may just surprise you!


Get into a Regular Routine

Plan a time each day to get your new stretching routine into place. Find a time that works into your schedule the best or when you think you could use these benefits at some point in the day. Many people complete their stretching routine right before they get in the shower in the morning. Others will perform their stretching at night before they go to bed. Experiment with it for a few weeks and see if you can recognize all of these benefits listed and more!