stretchingStarting your day with a light stretching exercise offers a number of key benefits. Whether you’re a man, woman, young or old, adding some basic stretches to your daily routine can make a world of difference in your health. Most people stretch for the sole purpose of “warming up” their muscles, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits offered by this practice.


Protects Against Injury

Stretching is a simple and effective way to protect your body against injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70 million doctors’ visits per year are attributed to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which involves any injury or adverse condition affecting the ligaments, spine, joints, tendons or supporting bodily structures. By stretching on a regular basis, however, you can reduce your risk of developing MSDs and other physical injuries.


Improved Muscle Recovery

Another reason why you should stretch is because it improves your body’s ability to repair damaged muscle fibers. When you lift weights or perform other high-intensity strength training exercises, small tears form in your muscles. You’ll wake the following morning feeling sore – a key indication of a good workout. This is completely normal, as your body rebuilds the damaged muscle fibers stronger and bigger than before. Stretching works to enhance the body’s self-repair mechanism by toning and strengthening the muscles.


Promotes Blood Flow

The benefits of stretching don’t stop there. Stretching – when done right – promotes healthy blood flow throughout the body. It’s no secret that poor circulation can negatively affect your health in more ways than just one. It can trigger arthritis flare-ups; cause varicose veins and spider veins; and even affect the kidneys. Stretching literally moves blood throughout your body to reduce the risk of problems such as these from occurring.


What’s The Best Way To Stretch?

If you asked ten different fitness experts “what the best way to stretch is” you would probably get ten different answers. There’s really no single best way to stretch, as it depends on your body type and goal. However, chiropractors are fully trained in optimizing the human body’s ability to stretch. They’ll not only help you stretch, but they can also provide expert advice on how to stretch at home. So if you’re looking to improve your health and protect against injury, schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor.