5 Surprise Benefits of Stretching

1. Less stress, less anxiety, and a Mind at Ease? Yes, Please!

Are your shoulders practically touching your ears? Is your back in knots? Does it feel exhausting just thinking about doing, well, anything?

These are the top signs that you are suffering from stress induced fatigue, and a common answer to ‘Why Am I So Tired?’

Stretching will loosen tension both physically and mentally, as it relieves tight muscles while guiding you into feeling more relaxed.

As you invite your muscles to stretch and release your body will instruct your mind to do the same, often bringing your body relief and freeing your mind at the same time.


2. You Will Be More Likely to Catch Yourself in a Fall

For those of us with children, we can all relate to the pinball effect of stepping on an errant Lego, careening off the couch, pirouetting around the coffee table, and sticking an Olympian landing … right on the dog’s tail.

Between your yelps of Lego-induced pain and the dogs howl of surprise, you steal a moment to be thankful that you didn’t fall and get seriously injured.

Stretching shows a significant increase in the ability to maintain balance as well as the ability to steady yourself while imbalanced.

This means that dodging low moving kids, animals, the wayward toy, or the precarious “too many things in my hand” walk that we all seem to enjoy challenging ourselves too, does not turn into a concussion, an injury, or a trip to the ER.


3. Say goodbye to those heavy afternoon eyelids

I tried everything to combat afternoon sleepiness at the office; dietary changes, sleep studies, morning exercise, less coffee, more coffee, getting up earlier, getting up later, even more coffee… but at best these brought about modest change.

It seemed no matter what combination of lifestyle change and caffeine dosage I implemented, come 2pm I was fighting a battle with my eyelids, a battle I regularly lost.

Since I have incorporated this program, stretches to do at the office, I have noticed a significant improvement in my function and energy during my previously drowsy afternoons.

It makes sense on both a scientific level and in layman’s terms; get up, stretch, signal to your body that it is preparing for activity (even if it is just mental activity), and increase blood flow around in the body to awake all of the systems and senses.

I am reporting much more productive afternoons and much less embarrassing looks from coworkers and my boss when they would catch me dozing in front of a timed out computer monitor.


4. Less Pain When Sitting or Moving

There are life movements and then there are office movements, and in general humans train for neither of these movements or postures.

We all know the gym has bench presses and treadmills, but where is the bend over to pickup my crying 4 year old machine? And I can never find the “Yeah I can get that box down without putting down my coffee” machine either.

Life’s movements are unpredictable, awkward, and sudden, in other words, in most cases you cannot train for what life will throw your way.

By stretching you give your body a fighting chance to adapt, absorb, and recover without pulling a muscle or going down to the floor and risking a cut, break, or concussion.


5. Better Mobility and Performance in All Things

If you are one of one the few Americans who go to the gym regularly and consistently then you know first hand how important it is to get in and get out.

Efficiency is at a maximum because while you are at the gym, you are not doing the 67,833 other things that are required of working adults.

Stretching and improving your flexibility is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your time at the gym, burn more calories, and get a fitter physique faster.

How, you are asking?

By being more flexible you increase your range of motion, this means going lower on those squats, sinking into those lunges, and safely exploding at the bottom of your bench-press.

This increases your time under tension, a metric closely followed by elite bodybuilders, top athletes and fitness models. If you are seeking a better physique and improved performance, then these are the folks you are going to want to mimic.