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Why stretching is *so* important to your health

When we think about stretching, most of us might imagine a ballet dancer with her leg all the way above her head or a gymnast in a full split. Although stretching for these types of athletes is definitely important, they aren’t the only people who need it! We can all benefit from stretching, and there are tons of different stretches that can help improve your flexibility and help to keep you healthy. 

According to acefitness.org, there are 10 main reasons why everyone should stretch on a dialy basis: 

1. Decreases stress: We could all use this during our busy and hectic lives. The source explained that regular stretching reduces a lot of mental tension, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression. 
2. Reduces pain: Stretching daily can help to reduce the stiffness in your muscles, especially the ones in your neck and lower back. 
3. Improves your health: Stretches such as yoga and static stretching can help to reduce heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Yes please!
4. Improves your range of motion: Your joints can sometimes be tense, but stretching can help to improve the range of motion in joints that are designed to be mobile.
5. Improves function: Poor posture and long periods of time seated can cause your muscles to be tense. Daily stretching can train your body to improve the overall function of your muscles.
6. Reduces injury: Stretching helps to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for all of the movements that you are about to do. If your body is warm before doing other exercises, you are less likely to get a sports related injury. 
7. Improves performance: Regular stretching can help to increase your power, speed, and agility. This is perfect for any type of athlete!
8. Improves your blood flow and circulation: This helps the transportation of oxygen and blood throughout the body.
9. Minimizes the wear and tear on your joints: Daily stretching helps to ensure that the muscles on each side of the joints have an equal amount of “pull” so that the joint can move freely and have more mobility.
10. Improves your quality of life: Daily stretching will help to increase the longevity and the quality of your life 

Stretching doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem. Doing stretches such as touching your toes, wrist stretches, standing hamstring stretches, or neck stretches can help to improve so many aspects of your life, and will make you feel so much better! You can search Youtube for stretching videos, yoga, or other videos related to stretching. They can be super simple and easy stretches, and there’s no harm in trying them! Maybe one day you’ll be able to put your leg all the way above your head! 

What are your favorite stretches to do? 

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by Molly Beidleman | 7/28/2018
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