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How Stretching Can Increase Flexibility

Posted on March 19, 2007

By Sam Guiragossian

With the rise of today’s sedentary population it is vital that we incorporate some form of physical activity into our busy lifestyle.  There are many benefits to stretching properly as it helps reduce aches and pains often caused by sitting for long periods of time.  Some specific benefits of how stretching can increase flexibility and offer a better quality of life are:

1.) Reducing the tension in muscles while helping muscles relax.  Studies have shown that increased flexibility can significantly reduce aches throughout the body.
2.) Improving flow of oxygen and intake of essential nutrients. Stretching allows the muscle to relax, tense muscles cut off their own circulation, which can result in lack of oxygen and nutrients. 
3.) Helps reduce and manage stress.  Flexibility significantly reduces tension and stress in your body, which is essential as stress is a leading cause of many different ailments.
4.) Improves posture.  Stretching your lower back, shoulders, and chest properly helps to align your back and improve posture.  This is crucial because many jobs today confine people to their desks or have them standing and leaning much of the day. 
5.) Providing better blood circulation.  Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles and joints, and improves blood circulation to the entire body.

A quick and simple stretch to try at your desk is the Seated Low Back Stretch.  While sitting in a chair spread your feet apart about shoulder width and bend forward at the waist towards the floor.  You should feel a comfortable stretch in the lower back area.  Hold this position for 10 – 15 seconds and repeat three times.  When stretching pay attention to how the stretch feels as it should not be painful.  If you experience any pain immediately stop.  Breathing is vital to stretching properly so remember to inhale and exhale naturally.


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Robert Stanley

Love the blog. Keep up the good work!

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