Friday, January 27, 2023
Home Health What stretching does to your brain and body: the health benefits

What stretching does to your brain and body: the health benefits


After a challenging workout, the last thing you probably want to do is spend five to 10 minutes stretching, but doing so can result in much-needed physical and mental health benefits. But why is stretching important and how often do you need to do it? We talked to a few experts to learn more.

“Stretching helps keep us mobile. We are born super mobile as babies and young children, but lose this as we grow into adults,” explains Maillard Howella personal trainer and owner at Dean CrossFit in New York City. “When we stop stretching, we lose capacity in movement. Decreased capacity in movement means we are able to move less, we are functionally less able to do everyday stuff like pick a pen up from the floor, scratch our back, or even climb stairs efficiently.”

Why stretching is good for your body

“When you think about exercise, most people participate in some type of aerobic activity that improves their cardiovascular endurance. Most people are doing weight training to help maintain lean muscle mass and to build strength,” says Chris Travers, an exercise physiologist out of Cleveland Clinic Sports Health in Cleveland, Ohio. “Those are two very important elements of a fitness program, but there’s also a third element and that’s your flexibility and mobility, which is most often the one that’s neglected.”

At minimum, Travers suggests doing a structured flexibility program at least three times a week for about 30 minutes each session. This can include exercises such as yoga, Tai chi, barre or Pilates.

“With certain stretches, like yoga or Tai chi, it’s getting you in a more relaxed state,” says Travers. “It’s going to get you to decompress and bring your stress level down and get you in a better frame of mind.”

Some additional health benefits of stretching include:

“Stretching is going to help with physical and mental relaxation and relieve muscle tension and soreness. It’s also going to help reduce the risk of injury,” says Travers. “Some people are naturally more flexible than others, but no matter whether you can touch your toes or you’re barely able to get your hands halfway down to your shins, you should be working on your flexibility and mobility because the more sedentary you are, the more your muscles are shortening, which in turn is causing you to be more tight.”

Why stretching is good for your brain

In addition to helping you feel relaxed, stretching also increases your body’s serotonin levelswhich is the hormone that can help stabilize your mood and reduce stress. A study also found that implementing stretching exercises at work also reduced anxiety and exhaustion while increasing vitality and mental health.

Add stretching to your everyday routine

There are two main types of stretching: static stretching, where you hold a stretch for a certain amount of time, typically between 15 and 30 seconds; and dynamic stretching, which incorporates more functional movements. But you’ll want to make sure you’re properly warmed up before stretching so as not to injure yourself.

“Dynamic stretching is moving through a range of motion to help prep muscles and ligaments for performance and should be done before workouts,” explains Sonya Robinsona Chicago-based National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist.

To build upon healthy habits in the new year (and year-round), Travers suggests adding a short stretch to your movement when your fitness tracker’s stand reminders goes off.

“You get up, you maybe go for a quick walk to fill up your water bottle or get a cup of coffee, you come back and do a seated hamstring stretch or a standing version,” he says. “Now you’re adding some of these habits into your daily routine and it’s not taking up more time in your already compressed schedule.”

Our new weekly Impact Report newsletter examines how ESG news and trends are shaping the roles and responsibilities of today’s executives. Subscribe here.





Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

People with lower literacy have greater mental health difficulties, research shows

People with poor literacy battle more mental health problems worldwide, according...

Barriers to mental health care for men

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The latest Centers for Disease Control health report finds men are 3-to-4 times more likely to die from suicide...

Genetic Counseling Can Help Uncover Hereditary Health Conditions – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

In some cases, it’s easy to see what we’ve inherited from our family, like mom’s smile or dad’s blue eyes, but when it...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

We will ask coach, senior players why the hunger to win was missing: Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey | Hockey News

BHUBANESWAR: India's title hopes at the Hockey World Cup ended in an anti-climax. For a second consecutive World Cup at home,...

People with lower literacy have greater mental health difficulties, research shows

People with poor literacy battle more mental health problems worldwide, according...

Stellantis, Archer Aviation’s Electric Aircraft Cuts Travel Time by 50 Minutes

Welcome to Thomas Insights — every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what’s...

Recent Comments