This might sound like a stretch (sorry, couldn’t help myself!) but doing a few simple stretches each day might be one of the most important things you do for your body. Spending only a few minutes every morning and night stretching your muscles, even on days you don’t exercise, can have myriad positive benefits for your body.

Do you routinely feel sore or achey all over? Do you deal with headaches or tension in your shoulders and neck? Is your job or personal life stressing you out? Some stretches could help you deal with all of that! Stretching has other benefits too. Here’s a few!

  1. It improves your posture
    Because it lengthens and loosens your muscles, stretching can help keep your posture in check! Regularly stretching your back, chest, shoulders and neck can help keep your spine in alignment and keep you standing up straight. This will help relieve those backaches and shoulder or neck pains that come with slouching over a desk or doing physical labor all day.
  2. It increases flexibility
    Stretching regularly increases your range of motion and that results in more flexibility in your daily movements. Once you get into a regular routine of stretching, your body gets used to making the same movements over and over and requires less energy to do it which means your joints become more flexible as well as your muscles and you lessen your likelihood of injury.
  3. It gives you a boost of energy
    A good stretch boosts blood flow and can give you some energy you need. When you’re feeling tired in the middle of the day, your muscles start to tighten. Get some quick stretches in and you’ll feel an immediate boost!
  4. It makes you happier
    When your muscles are tight, it gives you a feeling of tension all over your body which makes your body feel like you’re stressed out. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and and unhappiness. Remember that our body processes physical feelings emotionally! Stretch your muscles out regularly to release that tension and ease your mind. Stretching can also trigger endorphins in your body, and endorphins make you feel great!
  5. It increases nutrients in your body
    Because stretching increases blood flow in your body, it also increases the amount of nutrients being supplied to your muscles. When the blood starts flowing easier and faster, the nutrients are being spread more easily throughout the body so they can be spread to your muscles that need them! Increased blood and nutrient supply will help reduce soreness after workouts as well.

As you can tell, stretching is very important for your body and your mind! While you can stretch out easily at home against a wall or with a mat, you can up your stretching game with a yoga strap or a foam roller.

Stretching will also help keep you mindful of your body, as you’ll be aware of any soreness and you can stay in tune with anything that feels more painful than it should. Listen to your body and take care of it, and reap the rewards.