Stretch For Healthy Flexibility

Stretching is a healthy way to prepare your body for exercise and gain flexibility.  There are a number of reasons why stretching is an important part of your weekly workout routine.

Reduce Chance of Injury

Stretching improves your flexibility.  This, in turn, allows your body to be more prepared for different types of workouts or sporting moves as you can move in more ways.  A more flexible body will be less likely to be injured than an inflexible one, so including stretching as part of your workout routine will help to keep you off the bench and in the game.

Makes Exercise More Fun

As you gain flexibility you will be able to do more and different types of things, adding variety to your workout.  This will make it easier to do something active that you enjoy, which means you will stick with your workout.

Increase Blood Flow

Stretching before you exercise will increase blood flow to the area being stretched, preparing those muscles for the coming workout.  This will enhance your workout and some studies have shown that, in addition to this jump start to a workout, a regular stretching routine and actually enhance your performance in the gym or on the court.

When To Stretch 

It is important to stretch at the right time to avoid injury.  There are two times that are best for healthy stretching.  The first is after a 5-10 minute warmup before a workout or sporting event.  This increases the blood flow and prepares your muscles for the activity.  The second is after you are done with your workout.  This helps your muscles to recover faster.

How To Stretch

When you are stretching, pick a variety of stretching poses that will impact the front and back of the legs, the torso, and the back at a minimum.  Hold each stretch for at least 20-30 seconds. Be careful not to stretch too far or to rock back and forth as these methods can cause injury.  A nice slow stretch to the point where you feel the muscle stretching is enough.

Add stretching to your weekly exercise routine and watch your flexibility improve.

Lessons Learned:

  • regular stretching reduces injuries, increases blood flow, and can enhance performance
  • you should stretch after a warmup and after a workout
  • you should stretch the major muscle groups, holding for 20-30 seconds without rocking or overstretching

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *