Is body stretching that important for the body and mind? Yes it is. That simple thing we do, sometimes unknowingly, does so much good for the body. In this post, I will be showing you 17 reasons why body stretching is a must for all persons, irrespective of age, gender and class.
Many people spend more than half of their waking hours sitting down and activities that do not enhance health account for quite a lot of the remaining hours of the day. This growing trend may cause more trouble than most people are aware of. Studies have it that habitual inactivity raises risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome.
For every two hours a woman spends watching the television each day, she has a 23% greater risk of becoming obese and a 14% greater risk of developing diabetes. Sitting at work for many hours also heightens her risks for obesity and diabetes. When planning your day, it may be beneficial not only to increase the time have you spent exercising or stretching your body but also to try to reduce your “sitting time”. Check out our post on the 7 Best Ways to Prepare Local Herbs that Cure Diabetes.
When you exercise/stretch your body several times a week or more, your body adapts so you are able to do so more efficiently. Getting to know about this process will help you understand why exercising/body stretching has so many benefits.
Advantages Of Body Stretching and Exercising
1. It provides an avenue to burn energy
Regular exercising or stretching of your body conditions the lungs, heart, and blood vessels, enabling them to deliver oxygen to muscle cells more quickly and efficiently.
Walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming at an even pace are aerobic activities in which your lungs and heart are able to supply oxygen for energy (ATP- Adenosine Triphosphate) production
Activities in which your body tends to go anaerobic more quickly include wind sprints and weight lifting in which demand for oxygen outstrips supply.
2. Good Heart And Blood Vessels
During exercising/stretching your cardiovascular system (relating to heart and blood vessels) transports oxygen to cells and removes carbon dioxide, carries away metabolic waste products, and shuttles hormones to the intended organs.
Stretching helps maintain body temperature and preserve your body’s acid balance.
When you exercise regularly, your circulatory system adapts by boosting your cardiorespiratory endurance.
3. Builds Your Muscles
Exercises/body stretching that involves continuous motion, such as rowing, walking, or swimming, result in the rhythmic tightening and releasing of muscle fibers. In addition to moving your body, this process produces a “milking” action that helps move blood through your veins and back to your heart.
With aerobic exercise, an increase in fibers containing iron-rich myoglobin also occurs, permitting more oxygen to enter and be stored in the muscle.
Combined with the greater number of capillaries and increased blood flow to the muscles, these changes improve muscular endurance. Well-trained muscles not only are able to stockpile more glycogen, but they also can burn fat for energy more directly, which preserves glycogen stores.
4. Builds Healthy Bones
Body stretching plays a key role in slowing bone loss.
Body stretching that work against gravity (such as walking, jogging, tennis, basketball, and strength training) provide the greatest benefit.
5. It Encourages The Production Of Hormones
Body stretching affects nearly all of the dozens of hormones your body produces. Two of these substances, epinephrine and norepinephrine, are key players in promoting physical changes while you are body stretching.
Endorphins, natural opiates that help block pain perception and may improve mood, rise after 30 minutes or more of body stretching. These hormones are probably responsible for the sense of euphoria endurance athletes are said to experience, sometimes called a “runner’s high.”
Norepinephrine also regulates mood.
Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, fluctuates in response to body stretching.
Body stretching seems to enhance your body’s ability to draw energy directly from fat stores.
6. Boosts Your Immune System
Moderate exercising/body stretching reduces levels of stress hormones and other chemicals that suppresses immune system functioning and increase inflammatory activity.
17 Essential Reasons Why Body Stretching is a Must
- Stretching lessens the likelihood of getting heart disease,
- It regularly helps prevent plaque buildup by striking a healthier balance of blood lipids (HDL-High Density Lipoprotein, LDL-Low Density Lipoprotein, and triglycerides),
- Body stretching helps arteries retain resilience despite the effects of aging, and bumps up the number of blood vessels feeding the heart.
- It also reduces inflammation and discourages the formation of blood clots that can block coronary arteries.
- Even if you already have heart disease, exercising lowers your chances of dying from it.
- Exercising lowers blood pressure, a boon for many body systems. Long-term hypertension (high blood pressure) doubles or triples the odds of developing heart failure and helps pave the way to other kinds of heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysms, and kidney disease or failure.
- Stretching helps prevent diabetes by paring off excess weight, modestly lowering blood sugar levels, and boosting sensitivity to insulin so that less is needed to transport glucose into cells.
- If you have diabetes, body stretching helps control blood sugar.
- It reduces risk for developing colon and breast cancers, and possibly cancers of the endometrium (uterine lining) and lung.
- By helping you attain a healthy weight, exercising lessens your risk for cancers in which obesity is a factor, too.
- It helps shore up bones. When combined with calcium, vitamin D, and bone-saving medications if necessary, weight-bearing exercise like walking, running, and strength training helps ward off age-related bone loss. And balance-enhancing activities, including tai chi and yoga, help prevent falls that may end in fractures.
- Helps protect joints by easing swelling, pain, and fatigue and by keeping cartilage healthy.
- Strong muscles support joints and lighten the load upon them. Activities that boost flexibility, such as stretching, yoga, and tai chi, extend range of motion.
- Exercising may limit and even reverse knee problems by helping to control weight — quite a bang for the buck, since every pound of weight lost reduces the load on the knee by 4 pounds.
- Body stretching lifts spirits by releasing mood-lifting hormones and relieving stress. Exercising/stretching of the body regularly has helped ease mild to moderate depression as effectively as medications; combining body stretching and exercising with medications, therapy, and social engagement is even better.
- Stretching may boost your ability to fend off infection.
- stretching and exercising adds years to your life.
Read also: 5 Back Pain Treatments at Home
6 Outstanding Facts About Body Stretching
- Unless you are taking medications, your heart rate can reach 130 to 150 beats/mins (sometimes higher, particularly in young, fit individuals). That nearly doubles the resting norm of 70 to 80 beats per minute for most people.
- Your heart may pump up to 20 liters of blood per minute (40 liters for well-trained endurance athletes), which is quadruple the 5 liters per minute that’s typical while resting.
- Your skin and muscles receive 80% of your total blood flow. This quadruples the usual 20% of blood flow these areas get during rest.
- Systolic blood pressure (the top number) increases by 20 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or more during the first few minutes of exercise before leveling off. The diastolic reading (bottom number) remains largely unchanged. After you cease strenuous activity, however, blood pressure drops to lower than pre-exercise levels for two to three hours. Over time, regular exercise can help you maintain lower blood pressure.
- Millions of capillaries open up to feed muscle fibers.
- Your lungs pass up to 200 pints of air in and out each minute. When not exercising, the average for most people is 12 pints a minute.
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