Six Effects of Stretching on the Body

May 10, 2016 by Sarah Goodman | lifestyle

It's spring and you're working hard on your summer body but are you including stretching into your daily routine as well? Here are six reasons to stretch more this spring. Stretching does the following for your body:

Increases circulation of blood throughout the body

Stretching allows oxygen and nutrients to be carried to organs and muscles, including the heart, through your blood to boosts muscle function. Try these 10 yoga poses to improve circulation.

Improves flexibility

Stretching increases flexibility of the muscles and tendons, this helps your joints move through full range of motion, which lowers your risk of injury while taking part in physical activity. Important note: Stretching before exercise can increase your chance of injury says Dr. Ian Shrier, a McGill University sports medicine specialist. Be sure to stretch after you’ve exercised, not before. Try these ten stretches for improved flexibility.

Reduces muscle tension

Tension builds up in our muscles due to stress, stretching helps relieve the muscle tension that builds throughout the day. Try these tips on how to relieve neck and shoulder tension.

Increases spinal mobility

Mobility of the spine is not just important for spinal health. “Movement of the diaphragm, ribs and abdominal wall are affected by mobility of the spine. The spine is connected with joints to the ribs. The spine has direct ligament attachments extending from the diaphragm. Movements of the spine determine range of motion of the abdominal wall. Spinal mobility is crucial for motion that induces flow through the internal organs” says Dr. Jess Goodman.

Reduces Thoracic Spinal Stiffness

Stretching throughout the chest and abdominal cavities increases movement in the thoracic cavity where the body holds most of its vital organs. Stretches that improve movement throughout the thoracic cavity and thoracic spine help to improve muscle tension in the muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and neck. Over Stiffening of these muscles can cause pain, headaches, and in the long run, a condition called Dowager's Hump, which is a thickening of the soft tissues at the base of the neck. Try these thoracic spine mobilisation exercises and stretches.

Improves Sleep

Stretching helps relax your body, and mind. Stretching before bed helps get you into the restful mode to be ready for a good night’s sleep. Try these nighttime stretching exercises to help you have the best sleep of your life!


Lowers Internal Age

Stretching throughout the body and spinal column stretches the Aorta, which stiffens as we age, or don't move enough. Aortic Stiffness has been proven to be a marker of heart health, brain health, and risk of death from all causes. Stretching loosens the muscles of the body, creates more movement for the organs, and improves Aortic Stiffness. Try it for yourself! Use your iHeart Internal Age device before, and then after a session of stretching. You will see a drop in Internal Age after you spend 15-30 minutes stretching. Keep the stretching up and you will see improved health, a lower Internal Age, and a longer lifespan!

Author: Sarah Goodman

Sarah is the CEO of VitalSines International, Inc. Her experience in marketing and public relations as well as her designations as both a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN) and certified personal trainer (CPT) provide her with the knowledge and skills to be an effective leader and communications professional for the Vitalsines team. Sarah spends her time snowboarding in the winter, riding bikes, and surfing in the summer in beautiful British Columbia.