Stretching feels so good, doesn’t it? Especially when you do it first thing in the morning, after sitting still for some time, or after a long training session. Yet stretching has many benefits other than simply ‘feeling good’.
Here are 5 reasons why you should incorporate more stretching into your weekly workout routine:
Increases flexibility - Stretching loosens your muscles, tendons, and ligaments which works to increase your flexibility. Being flexible is not only about whether or not you can touch your toes, it is integral to the movement of your spine and hips, which makes it play an important role in your range of movement. The more flexible you are, the greater the range of movement you will have when performing certain exercises. Increased range means increased benefits!
Decreases risk of injury - Another advantage to increased flexibility, that comes from stretching, is a decreased risk of injury. Whether it be from performing exercises, participating in sports or having an accident. This is because your body can take more movement before strains or breaks occur, therefore you are less likely to tear a ligament, stretch tendons or break bones.
Promotes blood circulation - Regular stretching promotes the flow of blood throughout your whole body. Though blood flow is constant, it can pool and become more stagnant in areas, which leads to poor oxygen and nutrient supply. By stretching regularly you can prevent this and promote healthy circulation within your body.
Increases stamina - Stretching increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the numerous muscle groups of your body. Muscle fatigue occurs when the muscles become deprived of energy, and this can be prevented for longer periods through regular stretching and the promotion of healthy blood flow.
Reduces DOMs - Delayed onset muscle soreness happens after a particularly strenuous training session, or if you have challenged muscles you haven't used in a while. The soreness usually sets in within 24 to 48 hours after exercising and can range from minor discomfort to seriously painful. By stretching after a workout you can help flush out the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles, as well as helping your muscles warm down and relax. This works to reduce or prevent DOM’s from occurring.
So if you don't already do so, then make sure you incorporate stretching into your routine, your body will thank you for it!