Ahh July. How long we have awaited your arrival. One of our favorite months, you bring so many good things—like barbecues with friends, family beach days, and fireworks that light up the sky. You represent the dog days of summer and something so much more important, freedom.
While July 4th represents our freedom from the British, this entire month symbolizes freedom of a different kind. Warm weather makes it easier for us to get outside and move. It helps soothe the aches trying to work themselves out of our winterized joints.
Being able to get outside and partake in new activities is great for clearing out those proverbial cobwebs—both in our heads as well as our bodies. And all this extra movement will help us to detect the niggly spots that need a little extra TLC. You know, the ones that twinge, ache, or make us say, “eek.”
Whether we’re out walking, hitting a golf ball, playing tennis, or spiking a volleyball at the beach, it’s important to ensure our bodies are primed and ready for summer fun. Luckily, there’s a pretty easy solution to these tender spots—stretching. The best part? It can leave you feeling stress- and pain-free in no time.
When done properly and on a regular basis, stretching can boost your freedom from all that ails you. We’re talking headaches, stiff joints, shin splints, back pain, and tight shoulders caused by your ever-increasing workload.
Here are 5 ailments stretching can help free you from.
Stretching can not only provide relief for those suffering from this debilitating condition, but it can also help prevent this type of pain from occurring in the first place.
- Migraines If you’ve had a migraine, you know just how debilitating they can be. You also know that you’d be willing to do pretty much anything to get rid of it. A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that combining stretching with myofascial release decreased pain intensity, increased motion of the cervical spine, and functional disability for those suffering from migraines.
- Anxiety and Depression We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again, because the results really are fantastic. Stretching regularly can help combat depression. While it won’t help in every situation, there is a slew of evidence to prove that regular stretching can help bust depression. One study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that office workers who stretched for 10 minutes a day twice a week for 12 weeks noticed a dramatic improvement to their mental health by reducing anxiety and depression, as well as physical pain. [LINK TO STUDY: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7345456/]
- Stress. Okay, we’ve told you about this one, too, but seriously—it’s important! Stress is a massive plague on our society says the American Psychological Association. And it only seems to be getting worse. As if dealing with COVID 19 wasn’t enough, we have mass shootings, supply chain issues, the invasion of the Ukraine, and massive inflation to contend with. While stretching won’t eliminate the stresses in your life, or the world, it can help alleviate tension, increase blood flow, and improve your mood.
- Shin Splints All we can say is,” ouch!” Shin splints hurt. In addition to resting the injured foot, stretching, especially the calves, can aid in pain relief and recovery. One helpful stretch you can practice daily at home: stand at the edge of a stair and slowly allow one heel to hang off the step. You should soon feel a stretch up your hamstring and into the Achilles. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat at least three times. Switch sides.
- Back Pain There are few types of discomfort as all-encompassing as back pain. In fact, “low back pain is the leading cause of disability and the most common of all non-communicable diseases,” found researchers of a review study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Happy Independence Day!
Reward yourself with a relaxing stretch (or three) at TVS. We’ll help you find freedom from all the ailments, both mental and physical, in your life and get you back to feeling 100 percent in time for summer.
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