March 14, 2023
It’s tough to avoid sitting. We sit at our jobs, at meals, in our cars, watching television, on our computers, and more. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 25% of Americans spend at least 8 hours daily sitting.1 And it’s not healthy.
One of the easiest ways to reduce the damaging effects of a sedentary lifestyle is by doing some simple stretching each day. It provides many health benefits for people of all fitness levels.
relieve your pain.
In addition to improving your flexibility and range of motion, stretching will also increase muscle strength, reduce discomfort, and prevent injuries.
reduce your stress.
Stress causes your muscles to tense, especially in your neck, back, and shoulders. Stretching these body parts regularly will help loosen muscles and provide both physical and emotional relief from stress. It can also lower your blood pressure.
give you a boost of energy.
Whether you need a jump-start first thing in the morning or a pick-me-up in the late afternoon, a short stretching session will improve your blood flow and mental alertness. It’s healthier than a caffeine fix.
improve your posture.
Stretches that include your shoulders, chest, and lower back will strengthen your muscles and improve your spine alignment. Discover more about the benefits of improving your posture.
increase your stamina.
Stretching improves blood flow to your muscles, so they stay stronger longer. And stretching before a workout prepares your muscles for longer, more intense sessions.
Stretching is good for your health, but it’s not a replacement for daily exercise.
Learn how to get enough activity and enjoy yourself while doing it.
Challenge yourself – do the following stretches today and see how you feel. After just one stretching session, you will likely start to feel a difference. Hold each pose for 30 seconds. Only stretch as much as is comfortable, being careful not to overextend your muscles.
A short, regular stretching regimen before you hit the hay can relax you and help you fall asleep faster. Stretching before bed improves blood flow, reduces stress, and relieves tension. It can even help reduce lower back pain that keeps you up at night.
In the beginning, you may feel sore the next day, and might want to consider stretching every other day until your body is used to it. Remember – stretching should never be painful. If you’re experiencing pain of any kind, talk to a board-certified MDLIVE doctor in minutes for pain relief and much more.