When you think of stretching, you might think of it only being important among gymnasts and runners when the fact is that stretching is important for everyone!

Why, you ask? Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Cleveland provides some helpful answers.

Why Is Stretching Good for My Body?

Overall, stretching improves your flexibility, which will, in turn, positively affect your mobility and independence. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.

It’s safe to say that most of us experience muscle tightness daily, and it’s not a pleasant experience. Find out below how chronic muscle tightness negatively affects the body.

Negative Effects of Chronic Muscle Tightness

  • Can increase the risk of heart disease
  • Can cause digestive problems
  • Can cause chronic back pain
  • Can increase anxiety and stress levels
  • Can cause sleep disruptions

How Can I Start Stretching More?

If you’re new to the stretching game, make sure to start slow. Just like other forms of physical activity, your body needs time to get used to the stretches you’re performing.

Also, you need a solid grasp of proper form and technique. Otherwise, you risk getting injured. We’ve listed some ways to reap the benefits of stretching while staying safe below.

How to Stretch Safely

  • Don’t bounce when you stretch. Bouncing while stretching, or “ballistic stretching,” has been shown to cause injuries to muscles.
  • Don’t stretch past the point of comfort. While it’s normal to feel some tension when stretching a muscle, you should never feel pain. If the area you are stretching starts to hurt, back off a little bit until the stretch is comfortable.
  • Don’t go into your stretches cold. Cold muscles are not as pliable, which makes stretching a lot more difficult. The best time to stretch is after you work out or after a light warmup, such as walking or jogging.

Stretching is an important part of a healthy lifestyle! If you have any more questions about the importance of stretching or need general medical care, don’t hesitate to visit our team at AFC Urgent Care Cleveland.