When we talk about fitness, we usually discus walking, running, lifting weights, attending group classes, push-ups, squats and so on but sometimes, we tend to forget about flexibility and the importance of stretching. By skipping stretching and mobility exercises, we aren’t always maximising the effects of our fitness programs.
Why is it important to stretch?
Stretching your muscles has several known benefits that can help you with your workouts and recovery.
1. Prepares you for workouts
Performing dynamic stretching before exercise helps you to loosen and warm up your muscles and joints. It is always sensible to do pre-workout stretches that involves the muscle groups that you will be working out for the day.
2. Increases range of motion
Being flexible helps you to perform exercises with better movement and less difficulty.
3. Injury prevention
Having good range of motion means your body is able to move with minimal restrictions thus lessens your tendency to incur tears or injuries from your exercises.
4. Helps with recovery
Keeping your muscles limber helps relieve post-workout soreness and tightness. Cool down and stretch your muscles after your workouts.
5. Better posture and relieves stress
A sedentary lifestyle can result in imbalances within your postural muscles that can lead to poor posture and back pains. Stretching your hips, legs, shoulders and back after a long day of sitting at work may relieve some tension and stress from not moving too much. Tense muscles are also likely to have less circulation of blood supply and nutrients so it’s always better to relax and stretch.
Want more fitness advice? Speak to a Fernwood Personal Trainer to work out a personalised plan tailored to meet your specific goals.