It’s not a stretch to find many benefits of adding stretching to your fitness routine and to your everyday routine. There are many benefits, from health to productivity to just feeling more relaxed. Whether you are preparing before a workout or during the day to work out some kinks, stretching is a healthy habit that yields big results. Here are just a few benefits:

Stretching increases your flexibility – Being more flexible helps with everything you do. Flexibility not only makes everyday tasks easier and less painful, but it can also help delay reduced mobility that we all face as we age. It keeps you strong and motivated.

Stretching also increases your range of motion by allowing joints to move through their full range of motion. This flexibility gives you more freedom of movement, which improves your performance at work and in physical activities.

Regular stretching may improve your circulation. Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness.

Improves your posture – Decreased flexibility can lead to muscle imbalances, which can lead to poor posture. When you have an increased range of motion, it is easier to sit up straight, hold your shoulders back and be conscious of how you are sitting and breathing.

Helps to heal and prevent back pain – Just like improving your posture, an increased range of motion decreases the likelihood of straining the muscles in your back. Stretching can help heal an existing back injury by stretching the muscles. A regular stretching routine can also help prevent future back pain by strengthening your back muscles and reducing your risk for muscle strain.

Reduce your stress – With feelings of stress come increased muscle tension. Muscles tighten in response to physical and emotional stress because of reduced blood flow, resulting in muscle tension and knots. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles to ease tension and help you feel more relaxed. Increasing the circulation also helps relax your mind. While you are feeling the lengthening of your muscles, you can add meditation exercises to calm breathing and move the focus away from stressful thoughts. This is especially helpful before bedtime!

Helps decrease tension headaches – Stress and tension headaches can interfere with every aspect of your life. Adding stretching to a proper diet, hydration and quality sleep, stretching can help reduce the severity of tension headaches.