10 Reasons You Should Never Skip the Stretch

The following post was originally featured on Eat, Drink and Be Skinny, which is part of POPSUGAR's influencer network.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kathryna Hancock

Welcome to the Step and Stretch Challenge. We all know that stretching increases flexibility, but what about the other reasons to stretch? Today we're going to talk a little bit about the 10 health benefits of stretching.

The benefits of stretching are greater than you think…

The benefits of stretching go way beyond the obvious benefit — increased flexibility. Adding a simple stretching routine to your daily activities can go a long way towards increasing your overall health and happiness. These benefits include increased mental and physical health. Let's take a look…

Stretch to feel good

  • Stretching is a stress reliever — The act of stretching allows you to focus on your body instead of outside stressors. Stretching also relaxes tense muscles which helps increase blood flow. Lastly, the act of stretching releases endorphins which promotes a sense of tranquility.
  • Stretching increases energy — When we get tired our muscles tighten which enhances those sleepy feelings. Stretching will help loosen up those tight muscle and increase blood flow which means increased energy levels.
  • Stretching prevents soreness — Increase blood flow to the muscles after stretching equals an increased nutrient supply going to the muscles which will help prevent soreness after a workout, and helps speed up the recovery process for damaged muscles and joints.
  • Stretching reduces lower back pain — Increasing the flexibility in your hamstrings, muscles in the hips, and pelvis will help reduce stress on your spine.

Stretch to look good

  • Stretching helps you lose weight — Since stretching helps build larger muscles, a larger muscle mass will help your metabolism burn at a higher rate. This means that you can burn more calories doing the same activities you love.
  • Stretching improves posture — Stretching lengthens tight muscles which are responsible for pulling the body in weird ways. It also helps loosen up back and shoulder muscles which are responsible for causing poor posture.

Stretch for your body

  • Stretching increases the range of motion in your joints — This is especially important as we age and our range of motion naturally decreases.
  • Stretching decreases the chance of injury — An increased range of motion also means fewer injuries since our limbs and joints can move further before injury happens. Since stretching also increases blood flow, this also means an increase of nutrients to your muscles which will help speed up recovery in the chance of an injury.
  • Stretching increases the size of your muscles — This is especially great for the weight lifters out there. Longer muscle fibers equal a larger potential muscles mass. (see point above about how stretching can help you lose weight)
  • Stretching helps prevent disease — Stretching improves your blood circulation which promotes organ function and cell growth.