Your body should be cared for whether you've been injured or not. Pay attention to your body's movement, or even the lack thereof. As you age, your body doesn't move quite as easily as it used to and is more susceptible to injury the older you get, because your body isn't as flexible as it used to be and isn't as strong as it used to be. One way to prevent injury from occurring to you is to stretch. Stretching has a great number of benefits. Read on for a few of the major reasons and why you should be stretching every day.
Stretching will improve your body's flexibility, which can be beneficial in preventing injuries such as breaks or strains. It can also help you in your day doing things you would normally do, but without feeling the pain afterwards. Doing simple activities such as the laundry, dishes, or even mowing the lawn can be done easier with more flexibility, and you won't feel achy the next day after doing these activities.
Increased Blood Circulation
Your blood circulation will improve with stretching. This can improve your overall health and well-being. Blood will flow properly to all of your muscles and parts of the body that may not have had enough blood flow. You'll feel better when moving around and have the ability to heal faster after an injury or after doing anything strenuous.
Improved Coordination And Balance
Your coordination will improve with stretching. You'll be able to walk and move freely with your muscles and joints stretched out and a release of the tension in the body. Your balance will also improve, which means you'll be steadier on your feet and also prevent injuries associated with falling.
Decrease In Stress
Stress that has built up in the muscles and joints is relieved with stretching. Stretching can also help reduce your overall stress in the entire body (and mind), much like doing yoga or pilates can help with this.
Tips For Stretching
Consult your physician or physical therapist (if you've been injured) about which type of stretches are best for you to prevent further injury to yourself. Some tips to get you started and a few simple stretches you can do include:
- Stretch on a soft surface, like carpeting, or use a yoga mat.
- Have a helper with you to help you get up if you have a hard time getting up off of the floor.
- Keep water handy to stay hydrated.
- Sit with your feet on the floor in front of you, and your knees straight. Bend forward trying to touch your toes, and keep your core tight. Try to bend as far forward as possible, hold the position for 15 seconds, then rest.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart. Holding onto a chair or other sturdy surface, bend your knee with your foot behind you. Pull your foot up towards your buttocks and hold it for 15 seconds to stretch your quadricep. Release your foot and repeat on the other leg.
- Sitting in a chair, stretch one arm across your chest and hold it in place with the other arm for 10 seconds to stretch your tricep and shoulder. Repeat on the other arm.
These are just a few of the reasons why stretching can be beneficial. If you have been injured, talk to your physical therapist or physician about what type of stretches you can do to help you heal.