Stretching is probably one of the last things on someone's mind when it comes to Fitness and Health. It's hard enough to find the time to do exercise let alone find the time to do stretches. I was one of these people as well when I first started training, even though I knew the importance of stretching and that I should be doing it daily I would always brush it off. I would convince myself of doing it later and never do it. All I was concerned about was getting bigger, leaner and stronger. After a couple of years I soon realized that stretching is vital to our health and just as important as any exercise you can do. The consequences of not stretching wont be visible for awhile, you will still burn fat, still tone and build muscle and have a great transformation without stretching, but your ability to train can be cut short very quickly. Stretching will prolong your years of physical activity and prevent injuries that can prevent you from attaining your fitness goals. In today's blog we will go over some great benefits that stretching daily can provide for your body so that you can reach your goals faster.
When we do exercise especially weight training our muscles can get tighter and we can lose range of motion. Stretching is important to do so that we can decrease muscle stiffness and increase our range of motion. Now just because you stretch it doesn't mean that you wont ever get injured but a flexible muscle can be less likely to get injured. Stretching also helps relieve aches and pain caused by exercise. Lengthening the muscles by stretching them post workout can keep them loose and lessen the shortening and tightening effect that aches and pains can cause after a tough workout. Stretching is also a great stress reliever. If your muscles are well stretched they can hold less tension and leave you feeling less stressed. Stretching promotes an increase in circulation and blood supply to the muscles and joints so that nutrients and oxygen can be transported throughout the body. Stretching can also decrease the risk or lower back pain by giving you more flexibility in the hip flexors, hamstrings and the muscles attached to the pelvis helping you relieve stress from the lumbar spine lowering the risk of back pain.
Static stretching which is when you hold a certain stretch for a period of time should be done post workout. Some studies show that performing stretching exercises before weight training or before an athletic can actually make your muscles lose some power. Other than that reason you should and can do stretching at anytime as many times a day as you want. When stretching you want to hold each move at least 20 seconds or longer so that the muscle has time to lengthen. With stretching you can feel a bit of discomfort especially if your muscles are tight but it should never hurt. Stretching should be something relaxing and stress relieving Only do what feels comfortable don't try to show off and do split on your first day if you aren't able to. ONLY stretch to your capable limits with consistency your flexibility will get better.