For most of us, stretching is something we do before a workout or after a workout. But did you know that stretching can actually help with weight loss? Some studies suggest that low-intensity stretching may be more effective than strength training in promoting weight loss.
You’ll find multiple benefits to stretching. Not only can it help with physical performance and injury prevention, but it can also increase flexibility and range of motion, as well as improve nerve function and reduce inflammation.
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, you should consider incorporating some form of stretching into your routine. Here are five ways that stretching can help you lose weight.
1. Improves Flexibility
Flexibility, or the lack thereof, has a lot to do with how we look. A 2016 study from North Carolina State University found that those who are less flexible have a higher BMI (body mass index). Simply put, people with lower flexibility have a harder time controlling their food intake (i.e. they are more likely to put on weight), and it’s a vicious cycle that continues to haunt them.
There are many different kinds of stretching exercises. The key is to find ones that increase your flexibility while posing no risk of injury. One of the best stretches for improving your flexibility is the pigeon stretch. Stand with your back to a wall and place your hands on top of it. Kick your feet back until your body forms a “V” with your head at the top. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. This is one of the safest and easiest ways to work your body’s major muscles.
2. Raises Your Body’s Metabolism
Metabolism has a lot to do with energy use and how effectively your body burns calories. A low metabolism can lead to weight gain, especially if combined with a poor diet. In contrast, a high metabolism can result in weight loss.
There are many different exercises where you combine fast movements with isometric muscle contractions to increase your body’s metabolism. One of the best is the treadmill desk sprint. It combines cardiovascular exercise with an intense burst of energy to increase your body’s metabolism. It’s similar to the traditional push up, but instead of using your arms, you use your legs to push yourself up and forward as fast as you can. The intense speed and repeated isometric contractions increase your body’s metabolism and make it easier for you to lose weight.
3. Builds Lean Muscle
Muscle is one of the major components of our body’s construction. It’s responsible for much of our physical strength and can significantly impact how we look. When we build muscle, we’re building the base for physical strength and appearance.
There are many different kinds of stretching exercises to build muscle. One of the best is the body weight squat. With this exercise, you start by standing in front of a wall with your hands on it. Lean against the wall with your hands flat on the surface, and then bend your knees slowly until they’re almost in a squatting position. Keep your arms outstretched in front of you and slowly lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Once you’ve gotten into the habit of doing this, you can start incorporating it into your workout routine.
4. Reduces Inflammation
While we can’t always control our genetics, we can control our lifestyles and how we choose to act. Studies have shown that exercising can reduce the chronic inflammation that’s associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Regular inflammation can lead to serious health problems, so keeping it at a minimum is always a good idea.
The anti-inflammatory properties of regular exercise are helpful for reducing chronic inflammation. But it doesn’t stop there. There are also supplements out there that have been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory effects. One of the most well-known supplements is curcumin. It has great potential in treating many different illnesses and conditions, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that it can even be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It’s safe to say that curcumin has great benefits and can help to improve several different aspects of your life.
5. Reduces The Oedipality Of Obesity
Oedipality, or parentlessness, is the state or condition of being an only child. It’s often used to refer to the phenomenon of children growing up with mostly obese or absent parents who lack models of healthful behavior. The only children of extremely wealthy families can become grossly obese due to the absence of any form of physical activity or enforced limits on what they can eat.
It’s well documented that children from wealthy homes are more likely to be obese as adults. One way this happens is through genetic inheritance. The children of very wealthy families can become accustomed to eating whatever they want, and over time, it seems to be passed down through generations. This can lead to serious health issues. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2017 looked at the genes of nearly 10,000 men and women in England and found that those with the greatest number of obese genes were more likely to become obese themselves.
Even if your parents weren’t obese themselves, you could still inherit the genes that cause you to become overweight. Studies have shown that children who have at least one obese parent are more likely to become obese as adults and carry the genes that cause obesity. This is why it’s important to establish healthy eating habits and a daily regimen of physical activity as soon as possible. This will help to reduce the risk of genetic inheritance and its associated health problems. It’s never too early to start exercising and eating clean, so don’t be afraid to try any of these stretches out there. You might just find that they help to shed some pounds and improve your overall health and wellbeing.