It is pretty well ingrained into our minds that a good stretching routine should be carried out before a workout session. What you may not know is that daily stretching, with or without a daily workout, provides great exercise and some crucial benefits to your body. If you don’t have time for a full workout, you should at least make a few minutes daily to stretch; it’s fast and easy and great for your muscles.
Stretching Increases Flexibility
This is probably the most obvious benefit to a regular stretching routine, but it is also one that leaves you feeling great. Basic stretching exercises that involve extending your arms or legs will, over time, increase the reach of your arms and the motion of your legs. This is translated to greater flexibility that will come in handy in many aspects of your day to day life not to mention any other workout or sport that you may engage in.
Stretching Burns Calories
Although stretching is not an intense cardiovascular exercise, it is still an exercise and thus will provide you with an opportunity to workout your body and burn calories. If you only have a few minutes for an indoor exercise each day one of the benefits of stretching in this time is that you are exerting or pushing yourself physically, if done right, which will translate into burned calories and a healthier body.
Stretching Improves Breathing Habits
A key component of being able to workout or compete in almost any sport or physical activity is how you can breathe. This greatly affects your stamina and allows you to engage a physical activity at a higher level for a longer period of time. Stretching requires you to push your body and in the process will help you develop a healthier breathing pattern. This breathing pattern will carry over to other physical activities and allow you do them better.
As you can see what many people have assumed was a simple precursor to a workout can, in itself, be your daily workout. Stretching as a form of exercise instead of just a warmup is a great way to cram daily physical activity into a time and space sensitive life that so many of us struggle with. If you’re looking for an exercise that is easy, fast and provides your body with some great health benefits then consider stretching.