The importance of stretching?

We have all heard it over and over again “make sure you stretch”.

At the end of each gym session, we have come to expect some form of stretching but why do we stretch and why is it important?

I’m sure that most of us don’t understand the real reasons behind stretching, many of us follow the instructors without question.
It’s important to understand the ‘why’, this will help you to appreciate the importance of stretching while learning new things about our bodies which might encourage us to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Our body uses over 600 muscles to keep us moving, so it’s important to give them some extra attention to maintain optimal health. Stretching plays a huge part in improving and preserving muscle health and it takes less effort than you realise to add into your routine.

All it takes is stretching 2-3 times per week, using the right techniques, to see a noticeable difference to your flexibility and overall well being.

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. This makes the muscles weak and unable to extend all the way, which can cause injury.

  1. Increased flexibility
  2. Improves posture
  3. Improved coordination
  4. Improves range of motion
  5. Decrease back pain
  6. Prevents injury
  7. Decrease muscle soreness
  8. Safer exercise
  9. Preserves muscle health
  10. It feels good!

ADD IT into your routine

Do not jump in and start too aggressively, as ‘binge stretching’ can be quite dangerous. Increase your flexibility in increments with some gentle stretching.

It should be a large part of the warmup and cool down process before and after a workout. Dynamic stretching gently puts your muscles through a range of motion and better prepares your body for the hard work to come, ensuring a safer and more productive workout.

As we age our soft tissues naturally weaken and deteriorate which can significantly affect our mobility. There are many things we can do to preserve our muscle health and slow down this process, one of them being stretching. It is a very low intensity alternative to other high impact exercises.

It increases the flow of blood and oxygen to our muscles. This contributes to the health of our muscles and the increased circulation to the muscles give us a natural increase in energy levels.

We all engage in spontaneous stretching without even thinking about it, such as after a long car journey, waking up in the morning, or when sitting at a desk for too long. We do it because it feels good and makes us feel revived.

Below are some of the examples of Stretching Exercises:

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