Updated: Jun 14, 2022
Our bodies were not made to be stationary for long periods of time, yet, we find ourselves suffering due to our sedentary habits: stiffness in your body, muscle pain, pain in your back or joints.
Stretching can help address these issues and can be seen as a workout by itself or as a complementary workout additional to your sports or workout routine.
There are many benefits of stretching, and below are some of the many reasons, why I love it so much.
1) Mobility & Body Awareness
Stretching can help you improve the way you see and feel your body. You are stretching your muscles and actively feel your body in a different way to regular sports or fitness, because you focus solely on your body, your muscles and your movements. It forces you to get to know your body better and to get to know different parts of your body like feet, hamstrings, glutes, core muscles, shoulders, arms and neck. You increase the range of your body movement by increasing your flexibility. You become aware of your body, posture and your whole body mobility.
2) Sustainable Way of Training
Stretching can be a restorative practice to not only reduce muscle pain but also to protect you from injuries. By increasing the range of body motion you are increasing your body's agility and robustness. You are protecting your muscles from sudden aches, because your body has become more protected and knows how to restore itself.
3) Relaxation of Body and Mind
Stretching is a great way to release stress that has built up in different parts of your body and in your mind. By releasing the stresses your body has endured for a long time, you are relaxing your body and simultaneously releasing your mind from stress. You are building stability in your body and stability in your mind. Your body and mind become stronger and more robust. Overall your discomfort is reduced and your wellbeing increased.
4) Improvement in Energy Levels and Increase in Stamina
Another great benefit is that stretching increases your endurance and stamina. Over time you feel you have increased your energy levels. You become more fit, healthy and feel better. This results in you being able to accomplish more and have more energy in your body but also you start to be able to concentrate better and for longer periods of time. Your sleep and overall physical and mental wellbeing improves. It enables you to accomplish more and be more productive in your sports, workouts and in life.
6) Personal Growth in Body & Mind
When you spend time stretching, you spend a lot of time with your body and with yourself. You start to feel what your body can do and cannot do. You start to discover your growth and your limitations. You overcome hurdles and challenge yourself. It builds character in you, because stretching teaches you how to be patient with yourself and at the same time challenge yourself to new growth and new accomplishments. It teaches you how to build something slow and consistently over time because it requires you to actively work on yourself but also to sometimes just rest and relax. You start to discover different parts within yourself and you start to get to know yourself better. You connect to your core self, because you are taking the time to be compassionate and patient with yourself. This opens different avenues and you discover parts of yourself, you have probably buried deep inside. It helps you to bring these parts to the surface and connect to yourself better - you start to understand who you are.
I hope this gave you an insight into the world of stretching and its benefits. Let me know if you agree or disagree with the points I made.