Maintaining your quality of life is a key component of longevity which is why stretching your muscles can stretch your best years. As we age, we are more susceptible to injuries and disease – two things that affect our mobility and independence and as a result, our zest for life. It is still possible to live joyfully and with purpose with those limitations but since we’re in the business of prevention, stretching is a great way to fend off some of the obstacles of aging. Here’s how.
Stretching Improves Circulation
Stretching improves blood flow throughout the body. Increased circulation helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues and organs more efficiently. In turn, this promotes better overall health and helps to reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Lowers Your Stress Levels
Stretching activates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, our rest and digest mode. When we switch out of our sympathetic nervous system – our fight or flight mode – we slow down our heart rate, steady our breath, and release muscle tension. This helps us sleep better, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being.
Perfects Your Posture
Poor posture is associated with a range of health problems like back pain, joint pain, and reduced mobility. Regular stretching can help to improve your posture by increasing your flexibility and muscle strength, reducing the risk of these problems.
Better Joint Health
Stretching can help to improve joint health by reducing stiffness and increasing your range of motion. This can help to prevent joint pain and inflammation, which can contribute to better overall health, comfort, and longevity.
Reduces the Risk of Injury
Regular stretching can help to improve balance and stability by increasing flexibility and muscle strength. It also reduces muscle tension, which makes us less prone to injury. Injury prevention is one of the main motivations to stretch for longevity. As we age, our muscles and joints can become less flexible and our bones may be more fragile. Our cells may not regenerate as quickly as they once did, slowing the healing process. This can make an accidental fall or a simple injury into a debilitating incident. Preventing injuries keeps us active and healthy for longer.