It seems like there’s a day for everything, including stretching! However, this national holiday actually celebrates something that can benefit anyone, at any time — stretching your body. If you’re not stretching every day, you’re missing out on the many benefits this simple task can have for your body and your lifestyle.

Stretching improves our lifestyle and helps us live a better, stronger life. Keeping our bodies mobile and flexible can impact how independent we can be in the long-term. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints — or our muscles will shorten and tighten. This can open you up to injuries and other problems in the future.

Healthy adults should aim to do flexibility exercises (stretches, yoga, or tai chi, for example) for all major muscle-tendon groups—neck, shoulders, chest, trunk, lower back, hips, legs, and ankles—at least two to three times a week. You should spend 60 seconds on each stretching exercise, which can be broken up into 4 15-second stretches, 2 30-second stretches, or a minute-long hold.

Stretching feels good and is great for our bodies, so there’s no better time to start your daily stretching routine!

December 11 is National Stretching Day – read on to find out the benefits of stretching!