The Importance of StretchingSeptember 19th, 2012
How many times have you seen someone not stretch before they work out? Maybe you’ve jumped on the treadmill yourself once or twice without loosening your muscles first. There are many benefits of stretching you might want to consider before skipping and hopping directly in to your exercise routine.
The first and most important benefit to gain from stretching is relieving of pain! Most of the stiffness and tightness you feel in your muscles after a workout can be prevented by stretching. Another important benefit of stretching is that it releases a lubricating substance from the cartilage within your joints; which allows your joints to move more smoothly, preserving the cartilage in your joints and keeping your bones from scraping. Stretching is also known to improve the circulation of water and nutrients through your body, which slows the aging process. Studies have also shown that stretching can lengthen muscles and, by doing so, can improve your posture.
Here’s the kicker. All these benefits are achievable, even if you don’t regularly work out. You can experience a healthier, more comfortable day, just by stretching.
In order for stretching to be effective, you’ll need to warm up your muscles first. A simple ten minute walk or jog will make a huge difference. Remember, cold muscles are tighter, and will make you have a harder and more uncomfortable time stretching.
However, there are times when stretching should be avoided. Don’t stretch before intense workout sessions like sprinting or other high-intensity cardio training. Also, some chronic health issues can be exacerbated by stretching. Consult a Doctor if you have an injury or other health issues that may cause problems.