What Will You Get Out Of Stretching?
We all hear how important stretching is for our body, but how important is it? What are the benefits? When should we be stretching? Below we look at the top 5 benefits of stretching from a Bay Area sports medicine doctor's perspective.
#1 Increased Flexibility
A consistent stretching routine will increase our flexibility, keep our muscles in balance, and reduce the risk of injury. When we have imbalances in the muscles, it can lead to poor posture and form in movement, increasing the risk of injury. Bay Area sports medicine specialists recommend stretching as one of the best ways to reduce this risk.
#2 Build Strength
Increasing flexibility goes hand in hand with increasing strength and performance. When our muscles are flexible, we have control of our muscles in a full range of motion, which increases our strength. When we are flexible rather than stiff, we can also engage more fully in our movements, leading to increased strength and better performance.
#3 Improved Circulation
Stretching causes short-term improvements in circulation by relaxing your blood vessels and increasing the amount of blood and oxygen flowing through the body. Proper circulation helps organs function properly, keeps your brain sharp, keeps your heart healthy, and can even help wounds and injuries heal faster.
#4 Increased Range of Motion
When our muscles are flexible, it allows for more freedom of movement in everyday activities and the sports we enjoy. Bending over, picking up our children, lifting groceries, and tying our shoes are all daily activities that are more easily performed when we have the proper range of motion in our muscles. Keeping our body limber will help us do these activities with ease and reduce the risk of injury.
#5 Relaxation and Wellbeing
Stretching isn’t only good for us physically. It is also a tool for our mental wellbeing. Stretching activates your parasympathetic nervous system and may help alleviate the psychological effects of stress, which can induce feelings of calmness.
When Is The Best Time To Stretch?
Our Bay Area orthopedic surgeons don’t recommend stretching when the muscles are super cold and tight. Our muscles tend to be tighter when we wake up in the morning, so warming them up with a light jog or even running in place is a good idea. They recommend getting the body moving and then stopping to stretch once warmed up a bit for best results. This is especially important before playing sports if the muscles are cold. Jumping right into stretching in your warm-up can increase your injury risk, so warm up with some dynamic movements or a short jog first and then do your stretching.
Are You Looking for a Consultation with a Bay Area Sports Medicine Doctor?
We have two skilled Bay Area orthopedic doctors at IASM who can help you get back to the activities you love as quickly and as possible. Dr. Halbrecht and Dr. Dickinson believe in taking the most minimally invasive approach to treating sports injuries. Call us at (415) 923-0944 or click BOOK NOW above to pick an appointment time that works for you.