You’ve seen sportsmen and people at the gym stretching before and after training.
And most of you probably stretch as well and you consider that necessary and healthy.
Well, that’s true.
Many don’t even get up in the morning without stretching first.
However, just a few know how significant stretching is and the positive effect it has on your muscles, ligaments, and joints.
What is really stretching?
Stretching is expanding your muscles over their normal length.
Why is stretching so important?
People usually neglect stretching exercises and pay more attention to strength workouts.
But, stretching is very important.
First, you increase flexibility.
And the more flexible you are, your muscles are more elastic and your joints are more mobile.
When your joints are more elastic you avoid damaging them.
So, that decreases the risk of injuries and prevents bones diseases.
Second, stretching improves the blood flow in your muscles and it speeds up your metabolism.
Moreover, that affects the inflow of oxygen and nutrients in the muscles and it speeds up the recovery of your muscles after exercising.
Stretching reduces tension, muscle pain, cramps, fatigue, and injuries. (1)
It relaxes your entire body.
You feel lighter, more agile and vital.
Stretching helps prevent back, neck, hips, and shoulders stiffness.
This is especially important for people with sedentary jobs.
And it becomes more important as we age.
As time goes by, calcium piles up, and we become less elastic and flexible.
You can slow down this process by stretching properly. (2)
How to stretch properly?
You need to stretch without any sudden movements, gently while breathing normally.
Keep a stretching position for 20 secs.
Stop when you start feeling pain.
5 stretching rules:
- First stretch your back (upper and middle part)
- Then stretch your waist.
- Stretch your calves before your hamstrings.
- Stretch your lower legs before your quadriceps.
- And stretch your arms before your chest.
When should you stretch?
- Before working out – to warm up your muscles and joints so that you avoid getting injured.
- After working out – to improve blood circulation, to break down the lactic acid (which causes cramps and tiredness), to reduce inflammation.
- You can stretch anywhere -at work, while you’re watching a movie…
So, what’s the conclusion?
Stretching prevents injuries to your joints and muscles in particular.
Stretching properly is absolutely necessary.
And everyone who exercises should stretch, not only professional athletes.
Stretching is also important if you want your body to be ready for the physical and mental strain that modern life brings, no matter how old you are.