7 Wonderful Ways Stretching Helps You Lose Weight ...

Believe it or not, there are many ways stretching helps you lose weight. While it won't necessarily cause you to drop pounds by itself, it does lead to a healthier life and slimmer waist. In looking for new stretches, I came across several surprising ways stretching helps you lose weight. Not only did I find some great stretches, but I also have more motivation than ever to improve my flexibility.

1. Boost Your Metabolism

You don't have to do hours of cardio to boost your metabolism. Stretching, especially many yoga stretches, are designed to help improve digestion and improve your metabolism. Imagine getting a much needed boost just from spending 10-15 minutes stretching! One of the best ways stretching helps you lose weight is that you'll burn more calories and gain more energy. You may even stop having as many food cravings.

2. Helps You Eat Less

I was extremely surprised by this one. Usually, I'm hungry after a workout, but I didn't realize stretching actually leads to you eating smaller meals. Our hectic lives keep us keyed up all the time. Taking 5-10 minutes to stretch before you eat helps calm you down. This results in you eating more slowly and enjoying your meal more. When you eat slower, you get fuller faster. Think of it as an easy way to help curb your appetite.

3. Prepares You for Other Exercise

If you're out of shape and haven't exercised in a while, it's hard to actually get started. Stretching is the perfect starting point. Stretching is simple and gives you a goal to work towards. As you master your stretches, you're building confidence and creating an exercise routine. Before you know it, you're adding other forms of exercise in with your stretches.

4. Ease Stress

Stress is one of our biggest enemies in the weight loss battle. The more stressed we are, the more we eat. Stress also causes us to store more fat and reduces the body's ability to take care of itself and burn calories the way it should. Stretching forces you to take things slow and breath deeply. It's a calming exercise you should do daily to gradually reduce your overall stress.

5. Turn Fat to Muscle

Sometimes, the best way to combat fat is by turning it into muscle. Stretching helps you tone your body. While you might actually gain weight, the weight is actually muscle. Any stretches that strain your muscles in any way help build the muscle and even boost your metabolism. Try a series of yoga poses to really help drop fat and replace it with muscle.

6. Heal Your Body

If you have pain from an injury or any other reason, it's difficult to exercise. Until your body heals, you're stuck. But you don't have to be. Stretching is a great way to help relieve pain in your joints and muscles. Since it's done slowly, you'll gradually ease any pain and work your way towards more active exercises. You should always take it easy and never do anything that causes you more pain.

7. Better than Nothing

The key to losing weight is to get moving. Stretching requires movement. While it may not burn as many calories as a cardio workout, it will burn some. Try stretching and doing yoga poses while watching TV. Not only will you feel better, but you'll actually lose weight. After all, it's a better workout than just sitting on the couch.

Stretching is important in any workout routine. It's even great as a placeholder when you can't do your regular exercises. Take advantage of stretching and use it to help you drop a few extra pounds. What stretches do you recommend for losing weight?