When it comes to staying active, stretching tends to be overlooked. Although this may be the case, stretching is an essential component to any fitness routine. Here's 7 reasons why stretching is important to implement into every workout:
1. Decrease Stress
If you have chronic stress, you're well aware that your body can produce undesirable responses, including feelings of anxiety, fatigue and tension. Stretching regularly has shown to reduce any sort of mental tension, and when combined with breathing techniques it can also help decrease anxiety and depression.
2. Reduce Stiffness and Pain
When performing stretching exercises, like PNF stretching, static stretching, and mind-body stretches such as yoga, it can help to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate, counteracting the body’s physiological responses to muscular tension.
3. Enhanced Range of Motion
Various types of stretching such as supportive self-care strategies, like self-myofascial releasing using a foam roller, can help enhance unrestricted movement of the major joints of the body, including key areas that are designed to be mobile, such as the hips and shoulders.
4. Improved Function
Resulting from poor posture, repetitive movement patterns, improper body mechanics, and sitting down for long periods of time, muscles in the body can gradually become chronically tense, contracted and tight. This can cause your muscles to become less strong and supple. Regular stretching helps to improve overall function by ensuring that the body can more effectively respond to the stresses imposed by various types of movement and activity.
5. Enhanced Performance
When incorporated into a well-rounded fitness routine, regular flexibility training, which includes dynamic stretching, can help enhance agility, power, speed and muscular strength.
6. Minimized Wear and Tear on Joints
When muscles become chronically tight and tense, opposing muscles become weakened, in result, producing unnecessary wear and tear on various joints. Stretching regularly helps ensure the muscles on each side of a joint maintain an equal degree of pull so that the joint is able to move freely and efficiently in all directions. This allows for optimal movement and less stress on the body.
7. Improved Quality of Life
There are physiological changes that occur as we grow older, so regularly stretching and performing range of motion exercises, can improve flexibility at any age. This will help increase longevity and enhance overall quality of life.
Written by Quinn.