Often times, a person starting a fitness routine will be told that stretching is a vital part of exercise. Very seldom, though, will that person get an explanation why stretching is so important, even as a daily activity on its own.
How so? Below are three reasons to get you stretching.
Stretching extends the muscles and tendons, making them more flexible.
As we move, muscles and tendons contract and extend every now and then, and this is their normal way of functioning. But they can easily stiffen and shorten, either by lack of movement or due to unilateral strain.
As a consequence of stiffened and shortened muscles and tendons, joints will have a narrower angle of motion, and the restriction of their movements may also cause, at a sudden movement, a sprain of their ligaments or worse, a dislocation.
Modern lifestyles generally involve little motion and much sitting. We sit at work, at school, at the dining table, in the cinema or theatre, at parties, before the computer, and browsing the net, playing games. Sitting position is quite harmful from this point of view as it considerably shortens the muscles and tendons in the legs and hips, and the damage is aggravated if one has the habit of sitting with a hunched back and legs pulled under himself. This way, in addition to the shortening of even more muscles, blood circulation also tends to stagnate. And if the tissues do not receive enough nutrients and oxygen, they will considerably weaken and after a while, begin to waste away. Thus the danger of injury multiplies.
No quick motion exists without flexible muscles and tendons.
Why should I do splits or other stretching exercises when I never use such extreme postures in daily life? Without a wide angle of motion of the joints, and without a good extendibility of muscles and tendons, our motion becomes slow and awkward.
We see many people, perhaps walking on the street, that move in a tired and exhausted way. They’re the ones who respond very slowly when the traffic lights change or something needs to be avoided. They move clumsily and with difficulty.
Coordinated, smooth and graceful motion, however, as well as good reflexes and swift reactions, become possible as a result of regular stretching.
For balanced energy, muscles should regularly be extended.
The energy flow, and its vital importance for proper functioning of the body and its organs, is now well known in western science, too. But somehow its relation to muscle tensions and stretching is not propagated at all.
When we extend the muscles they relax, and tensions dissipate, allowing a healthy energy flow that in turn, invigorates physiological functions. Inadequate energy supply, just like inadequate blood supply, causes weakening and wasting away of the bodily tissues, as well as reduced and unbalanced physiological processes, leading to the development of virtually any possible illness.
Regular stretching exercises may prevent any of the adverse consequences above.
About the author: Emilia Kliment is a featured writer of ArticlesGratuits.Com. A writer for three decades, she is into practicing and and teaching herbalism and other alternative therapies, and specializes in health and fitness stories.