How stretching everyday can benefit your physical and mental health

Do you ever feel stiff, sore, and a little too stressed from life’s challenges? Chances are you aren’t stretching enough.

While you often hear about stretching and the benefits it provides, it’s still neglected by people – even when exercising.

“A lot of people understand the benefits of exercise and training, but they still don’t stretch enough,” said Ayla Tse, a yoga instructor at Pure Yoga. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or if you don’t exercise at all – everyone can benefit from stretching,”

Tse, 23, said that stretching is very important in assisting the recovery process following intense exercise.

“Whenever you use your muscles, whether it is at the gym or during anaerobic exercise [running, cycling, swimming], they build up lactic acid,” she said. “Stretching allows your muscles to get the oxygen and blood they need to break down this lactic acid and other waste products. This makes your muscles feel looser, and speeds up recovery.

In Hong Kong, however, it’s more common to find people who don’t exercise at all. Tse said stretching is very beneficial for them.

“A lot of people sit in an office and work all day, which means their hips get really stiff … this is really bad for your spine and posture,” she said. “Some people do jobs where they have to stand all day, but it doesn’t matter. If your body is in the same position for a long period of time, your body will get stiff, so you need to stretch.”

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Original Article : How stretching everyday can benefit your physical and mental health
By: Ben Young
From: yp.scmp.com

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