Stretching is an integral part of strengthening your body and achieving a well toned and healthy muscle system. In fact many people believe that stretching is as important as any workout we undertake, if not more important. It should be seen as another part of your workout and often should be utilized at the completion of your exercise routine to maximize your recovery and strengthen the ligaments and tendons that allow us to move more freely. So the question is posed, why is it important to stretch on a regular basis?
Stretching is an important task that should not be undertaken light heartedly, it should not be seen as a chore. More so it should be seen as a means to increase our body’s flexibility and lessen the chance of injury. Regular stretching will increase the body’s ability to move through a range of motion, to move past a range of motion and to recover from a range of motion. Increased flexibility allows us the ability to move past our normal range of motion without injury and decreases the strain on our tendons and joints.
Decreased muscle tightness
Regular stretching decreases the strain on muscles after a workout, it lessens muscle tightness and in turn relieves unnecessary strain on joints. If muscles are tight the pull unnecessarily on the joints that they are attached to, this in turn can lead to joint pain and reduced mobility. In order to combat this we can undertake regular stretch routines to elongate the muscles and allow them less tightening ability post workout, this will in turn decrease muscle and joint pain.
Regular stretching VS occasional stretching
Your ligaments, tendons and muscles will not stretch overnight and therefore it is important to stretch on a regular basis. Daily stretching will allow your muscles to slowly stretch over time and will increase your flexibility, resulting in the aforementioned benefits. However, conversely if we stretch occasionally we should not expect to see the same results, in fact we may not achieve any real results at all. The key to better flexibility is regular stretching, daily if possible.
Decrease injury exponentially
Generally speaking the most common injury occurring during physical activity are muscles strains. Muscle strains occur when we over-stretch or strain a muscle group or tendon, this leads to pain and inflammation at the site of injury. If we stretch on a regular basis we will increase the range of motion and flexibility of all of the stretched muscle groups; leading to a lower risk of strains or sprains. Stretching on a regular basis is good practice and the more we stretch, the more we increase our flexibility and hence decrease our injury potential.
A daily routine of stretching can be as short as fifteen minutes in duration but can have some amazing benefits. It seems a simple task but yet many of us neglect this part of our exercise regime and put unnecessary strain on our bodies, so do yourself a favor and stretch on a regular basis…………you will feel the benefits.
Allan has been writing about fitness and health for about 4 years. While not a professional health practitioner, Allan enjoys blogging about the best ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. Allan has also published numerous articles on health insurance and healthy eating.