Does Stretching Increase Blood Circulation?
Engaging in regular stretching sessions offers numerous benefits for your body, including improving your flexibility, maintaining a supple body, elongating your muscles and releasing muscular tightness. Stretching, along with cardio and resistance training, is an integral part of your fitness program and can also help to increase your body’s blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles and organs, including your heart, through your blood, so a strong circulation system can greatly lend to a healthy body.
Stretching with proper technique can help to promote efficient circulation of your blood. The circulation allows oxygen and nutrients to be carried to your organs and muscles, which they need for proper function, strength, movement and flexibility. Focus on your form when stretching; proper posture should be maintained and joints need to be aligned, such as your knee and ankle. Hold the stretch as soon as you feel resistance and avoid pushing your muscles to stretch beyond their natural capability. Breathe continuously, in through your nose and out through your mouth, to assist with the circulatory benefits, which deliver much needed oxygen to the muscles. Hold stretches for 20 to 60 seconds and avoid bouncing.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.