Everyone can benefit from stretching. Everyone can learn how to stretch, in spite of age or flexibility levels. Most people acknowledge weight training and cardio exercise as important. Stretching is often left out or forgotten altogether. What people don't know is how stretching impacts their everyday life. Activities we used to take for granted seem so difficult now. Something as simple as zipping up a dress can be such a challenge. A stretching program will help you regain your flexibility. It will lengthen your muscles and make doing your daily activities a lot easier.

Stretching should be part of your daily fitness regimen. Stretching increases your range of motion. Range of motion refers to the distance and direction a joint can move to its full potential. People who do stretching regularly generally have a better range of motion. They can move more freely without the stiffness associated with age. Stretching also reduces muscle tension which can contribute to limited range of motion and muscle fatigue. It improves posture, mobility and general wellbeing. Stretching indirectly improves personal productivity. When you are flexible, you are more likely to accomplish your work more efficiently. Athletic ability is also enhanced. When you are flexible, your muscles are at their optimum strength.

Stretching should be an integral part of a workout program. Stretching exercises should be done before and after aerobic and weight lifting exercises. Most experts believe that stretching reduces post exercise muscle soreness. It moves out lactic acid and promote healing. Stretching exercises should be done after warming up your muscles. Try to stretch your muscles gradually. Learn to relax and breathe correctly when stretching. Incorporate this into your fitness program. Try to stretch daily so it becomes a habit.

Stretching provides stress relief because it relaxes tired, tensed muscles. It improves circulation, increasing blood flow to the muscles. Injured muscles benefit from improved circulation by decreasing healing time. Stretching increases muscle coordination and balance. As one gets older, balance and coordination is sometimes compromised. This can be managed with stretching exercises. Hold each stretch for at least 30 up to 60 seconds. Tightened muscles take time to lengthen safely. Don't bounce as you stretch as it can cause small tears in the muscle. If a stretching exercise causes pain, you're not doing it correctly. Any exercise that causes pain should not be continued. Conditions which prohibit you from stretching include joint sprains, fractured bones and acute muscle strains.

There are so many benefits to stretching. Some fitness programs like yoga consist mostly of stretching moves. Stretching comes naturally to us. We stretch upon waking up, when we are immobile for a certain period of time or when we just feel like it. It is the body's natural way of destressing. So go ahead and stretch. It will do your body good.

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