The Importance of Stretching


Stretching photo

Stretching before working out or other physical activities is very importance for several reasons.  For years, it has been suggested that between 15-30 minutes of stretching before a workout can be a huge aid in preventing many common injuries.  By doing so, it allows your muscles to warm-up and be ready for action, and helps you avoid shock and strain that can be the result of too much intense movement to muscles that are simply not prepared.  However, there have also been later studies suggesting that, in fact, stretching does not actually prevent injuries, and that excessive stretching could also potentially do more harm than good, so always remember to consult your doctor or health professional to ensure the best course of action that is right for YOU.  That being said, you can’t deny the overall importance of stretching for any exercise routine, regardless of how big or small the session.

Whether we realize it or not, we stretch every day, even for a few seconds when standing up after sitting for a while, or when we first get out of bed.  This is the result of not moving nearly as much as you should be for extended periods of time, causing your muscles get tighten up.  By stretching, you are lengthening your muscles and tendons which allow you to move more freely.

The need for stretching also has much to do with helping ease the soreness and stiffness that result from vigorous activities.  Too much of anything can put a great deal of stress on your muscles and tendons, and stretching helps relieve the pain.  Stretching can also help maintain your range of motion as you age and can help give you more energy through increased blood circulation.  As well, stretching even helps you develop a much more relaxed state of mind, in turn, calming both your mental state and physical state.

Always remember that stretching must be done the right way and don’t overdue it, just as you would when exercising.  Over time, you will get better at it in the same way you do with exercise, so always start off slow and develop more and more over weeks and months, and you will notice a big difference from when you started.  Most of us are aware of how stretching can make us groan at the very thought, particularly when you are starting out, so always remember to make time to stick with a program or routine that you are comfortable with and that can keep you motivated to stick with it and allow yourself to develop and improve.  Most importantly, remember the reasons that motivate you to do it, and make it fun!

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