3 Important Health Benefits of Flexibility (And How Gymnastics Can Help!)
Seemingly every day, new research proves the importance of physical activity for maintaining one’s overall health. Including a balance of strength and cardio exercise in your daily routine can improve mood, memory, balance, lung capacity, muscle tone, and many other parts of your physicality.
While strength and cardio are both lauded forms of exercise, many forget that simply stretching muscles can also improve overall health. Sports and hobbies like gymnastics incorporate strength, cardio and flexibility can help an athlete become much healthier overall:
If you’ve been skipping your stretches, you’ve also been depriving your body of many health benefits. Here are just a few reasons why flexibility is so important for overall health:
1. Stretching Reduces Likelihood of Injury
When you stretch, you extend your muscles and prime your joints to achieve a fuller range of motion. A well-stretched muscle is more easily able to bend and move in many directions. This flexibility means that when you put pressure on a muscle, it is more likely to bend than “break.” In other words, without stretching, muscles are more prone to injuries like tears or over-extension. If you enroll in gymnastics or sign your youngsters up for gymnastic classes for kids, stretch regularly after practice to prevent injuries.
2. Stretching Boosts Your Mood
Just like any other physical activity, stretching can make you feel happier. By simply getting up and moving around, our brains release chemicals like serotonin, which is a known mood-enhancer. Unfortunately, children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen, which doesn’t have the same mood-boosting benefits of physical exercise and stretching. If you enroll in adult gymnastics classes, or send your children to gymnastic classes for kids, stretching and flexibility exercises alone are sure to get you smiling!
3. Stretching Relieves Aches and Pains
Stretching not only reduces the likelihood of injury, but it also helps alleviate existing muscle pains. Physical therapists and gymnastic coaches alike know that gentle flexibility exercises can help restore a muscle or joint that has suffered an injury. Even adults who don’t participate in gymnastics will have better posture, less soreness, and more energy if they start their mornings with a good stretch.
The stretching exercises common in gymnastic classes for kids and adults can help people of all ages become better athletes and a healthier in general. Whether or not you decide to take gymnastics lessons, be sure to stretch every day to keep your body limber and healthy.