Your body is made up of an intricately connected network of muscles, tendons, joints, and organs that – when working properly – allow you to go about your day effortlessly, energetically, and pain-free.
When looking at your body holistically, it is a beautifully designed machine that is built for speed, power, and agility and these systems are designed to work harmoniously with each other.
They are meant to be balanced throughout your body, pulling equally in opposite directions, to keep you upright, well-postured, and moving in a way that feels good.
Unfortunately, over time, without proper maintenance, muscles and joints begin to stiffen up, tendons get misaligned, and the natural load that holds your body together and upright begins to shift.
We start to compensate for painful/stuck spots and over time lose that child-like agility that felt so natural when we were young.
Before we know it, our head and shoulders are tilted forward, our back is out of alignment, and our body is forced to spend the day compensating for stiffness and misalignment.
All of this leads to an underlying pain and discomfort that taxes our body and makes moving regularly more difficult and uncomfortable – and it feels easier to stay still rather than move like our body is designed to do.
But don’t worry, there is hope.
Your body is amazingly resilient and wants to go back to the homeostasis it once knew – and can do it with little more than 10 to 20 minutes of focused stretching each day.
Over time, you can begin to realign your body, break through stuck spots, bring back structural homeostasis, reduce pain, and unlock all the energy your body is currently using to compensate for misalignment.
All of this is why we regularly include Mobility sessions into the workout schedule at MVMT.
If you aren’t setting aside 15 minutes to stretch daily, here’s nine important reasons why you should reconsider:
Reasons You Need To Be Stretching
1. Stretching Keeps Your Body Younger
Stretching regularly will help reverse the natural wear and tear that comes from using your body throughout the day.
Done regularly it helps realign misalignments and overused joints and promotes blood flow deeper into your muscles, which helps them repair more effectively.
All of this helps you stay flexible and youthful and promotes healthier and higher quality muscles, joints, and tendons.
That should be reason enough.
2. Stretching Reduces or Eliminates Discomfort & Pain
Pain is a signal from the body that something isn’t right.
While most of us find it an annoyance, we should actually think of it as a signal that there is something not right and that it needs some attention.
Back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, among others, are generally signs that something is misaligned or damaged and stretching can help open the area up, increase healing through increased blood flow and range of motion.
3. Stretching Will Make You Stronger
There’s a common misconception that stretching after a workout alleviates muscle soreness, but that isn’t entirely true.
What post-workout stretching actually does, according to a study done by the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, is it elongates your muscles, promoting blood flow and increased range of motion, which leads to faster healing and increased strength.
Yep, you can increase the impact of your work outs simply by stretching after.
4. Stretching Increases Your Stamina & Keeps Your Muscles Younger
Stretching regularly doesn’t just help your muscles grow stronger, it will help them stay stronger for longer.
The increased blood flow and range of motion that comes from stretching will improve your muscle stamina, and this means a better ability to endure workouts, less soreness, and a better ability to remain stronger for longer as you age.
5. Stretching Reduces Stress and Increases Parasympathetic Activation
Stretching is a great way to relieve stress.
The slower pace of stretching and rhythmic breathing can help trigger a parasympathetic (calm) state that will help you release the stress you are carrying around in your body, most often your shoulders, back, or neck. Regular releases of the tension held in these areas can help you experience emotional and mental relief, in addition to the physical relief.
All of this is why yoga is regularly recommended for managing stress.
And it doesn’t take long.
As little as 5 minutes spent stretching can lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and active the parasympathetic system, which will begin to release stored tension, helping to calm the mind and give your body a chance to begin re-charging.
6. Increases Blood Flow Throughout The Body
This is an important one.
More blood flow throughout the body means faster recovery and healthier, younger muscles, joints, and tendons.
Stretching opens up your body deeply and allows blood to move into places it otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to.
This blood flow brings in much needed nutrients and oxygen, which improves the quality of your cells and helps promote healthy tissue in areas that otherwise get neglected.
All of this helps heal muscles, joints, and tendons, and keeps your body feeling younger and more energetic.
7. Stretching Improves Mobility & Reduces The Chances of Injury
The more mobile your body is, the less chance of injury you have, and stretching is one of the most effective ways to make sure your body is mobile.
When your muscles, tendons and joints reach their extremes, its trouble, so it makes sense that the more range of motion you give your body, the less likely it is that you will hit those extremes.
A well maintained body will also recover from an injury more quickly, if it does happen.
8. Stretching Improves Posture
Stretching can help correct misaligned posture by opening up and lengthening tight muscles and tendons that pull the body away from their natural, aligned position.
This is all too common in our world of long days at the computer desk, sitting in chairs, and looking down at our phones.
9. Keeps Your Moving Better, Longer
Most importantly, regularly stretching will keep your body moving better – and for longer.
Call this increased longevity or call it keeping your youthfulness, a body that is well-stretched (and otherwise well-maintained) will last longer, feel better, have more energy.
And isn’t that what we wall want?
We hope those 9 reasons above convince you to take stretching seriously and help you understand why we include mobility days in our regular MVMT programming.
If you’re looking for some more flex in your life, sign-up for a 14-day free trial and get stretching.