Stretching and being flexible are not always at the forefront of health and fitness discussions. However, they play a vital role in overall health as well as the control of medical costs. It can benefit people by improving blood flow throughout the body to reducing stress levels. Also, stretching can improve physical performance, increase range of motion to muscles and joints and decrease the risk for injury.
As we age, it is essential to live healthy to reduce the amount of income we spend for medical costs or insurance premiums. To help with this goal, stretching can keep the muscles and joints well lubricated and flexible as well. Stretching improves posture helping to create a strong core which is important for overall functionality in the body.
Back pain effects millions of people throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of people go on SSI disability to to this issue. Stretching can help reduce lower back pain. By stretching out supportive muscles like the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and calves, it reduces the stress load and tightening that can occur in the lower back. This is especially important as we are a culture right now that sits for long periods of time at work, leading to tightening and shortening of the muscles.
If you sit all day at work, or even have a job such as a mover or assembler, back pain is a leading cause of disability. Since SSI only pays several hundred dollars per month in benefits, that income is minimal. It is impossible to keep up with paying bills or buying food when on disability payments. So stretch to reduce your risk of needing to file a claim.
In addition, flexibility from stretching increases the blood flow and nutrients to soft tissues. Lubricating fluid called joint synovial fluid is increased through stretching to the joints. This leads to greater range of motion, reduced pain in areas such as the hips, knees and back and reduces the chance for joints rapidly degenerating with age.
Stretching also feels really good! Flexibility is something that you can improve on with daily effort and practice. Improved functional movement, relaxed muscles, a reduction in pain and an overall sense of well-being are just some of the benefits to performing this simple, free and convenient practice. It can also help someone sustain one of those jobs that may otherwise be physically taxing. So stretching can support a higher, or at least consistent, income for a family that may otherwise be struggling financially.
There are so many relaxing and easy postures to try that even a beginner can perform them with ease and reap the overall benefits. Consider adding a daily stretching routine into your life to reduce the risk of disability, cut back on health care bills, and just too fell good!
Please note: stretching should never HURT and do not push your body past its current limits. In time, flexibility will change and improve, however, you need to respect where your body is at when you start.