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A Stretch in Time

Ways stretching can promote health and wellness besides preventing muscle injuries.

Throughout my years of playing sports, one thing always emphasized was how important it is to stretch. Stretching served me well as I had few injuries during my competitive years. Today, it’s me who encourages my clients to stretch, as it provides other benefits for overall health.

Did you know that your body contains more lymphatic fluid than it does blood? Through lymphatic fluid your body is able to rid itself of unwanted toxins. A sluggish lymphatic system can trigger a myriad of health problems. And because the lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump, such as the circulatory system has in the heart, it relies solely on movement to circulate fluid throughout the body.

Stretching is, therefore, essential to lymphatic circulation.  And it doesn’t need to be strenuous to reap benefits; done on a simple yet regular basis, stretching can improve lymphatic and overall health.

Do you suffer from any lower back or sciatic issues?  That pain is often a direct plea for help and stretching can provide much needed relief.  Whether you’re sedentary by career or aging thanks to Mother Nature, the hamstring muscles tighten up. Tightness in the hamstrings places increased stress on the lower back and can aggravate existing or cause new conditions that lead to lower back and/or sciatic pain.  Stretching the hamstrings elongates the muscle and takes stress off the lower back.

Need a bit of a pick me up? Don’t reach for that caffeinated or energy drink.  Try a simple stretch! Stretching allows you to breathe deeply, providing more oxygen to the brain. Stretching also relieves physical tension that builds up in the body. Tension puts stress on the muscles and zaps energy.  Stretch and you’ll relieve physical tension build up and allow energy to be used throughout the body.

To combat future arthritic issues, stretch!  It’s one way to prevent arthritis.  While it cannot cure arthritis, increasing flexibility relieves stress on the joints, an essential element of a joint preservation program.  If you are already dealing with arthritic issues, stretching may help ease discomfort.  Stretching keeps your joints flexible and improves their range of motion.

Are you maximizing your health by stretching?  Not sure what to do or how to start a stretching regimen that meets your needs?  Not to worry, contact Key to Wellness (www.facebook.com/key2wellness) to learn more about introducing stretching to your life, as well as other ways to unlock your potential for health and wellness.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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