You know you should stretch. But do you really understand why?
I am the first person to admit that I don’t stretch enough. I realise this because despite teaching as many classes as I do, I also love to play outside of work. Currently includes netball and snowboarding.
This has lead to minor injuries, sprains, muscle fatigue and soreness. My awareness of these injuries has significantly increased because I don’t want to miss out on any of the above. Can you relate to this?
Especially if you are someone returning from injury stretching is something that is very important to include in your routine. Along with some other mental and physical tips here: http://www.wondrous.com.au/deal-with-an-injury/.
Although most of us know we should stretch I wanted to explain to you the ‘why’. Because sometimes we just need the right information (thats not a lie) to really make sure we do the right thing for our bodies.
6 Valuable Reasons Why You Should Stretch
1. Reduce the risk of injury
Let me explain this to you properly (but in a really simple way).
When your muscles are really tight it pulls at the joint. This means your joints don’t move the way they are supposed to. They can become significantly restricted. When they are restricted like this you increase your chance of injury either around the joint or the muscle as they pull on each other. Makes sense right?
So therefore, the MORE flexible you are the safer your movements are around the joint and LESS likely you are to become injured.
2. Increased workout benefits
What I mean by this is the more flexible you are the greater range of movement you have whilst exercising. So in some instances you can work much harder with the ability to complete a longer range of movement.
3. Aids recovery
Stretching helps reduce the lactic acid in the muscles post workout. Simply put, after a tough workout a solid stretch will help push the toxins out of your muscles and into your blood stream to be broken down. This is not a bad thing. You want to ensure the toxins are broken down quickly to prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle syndrome).
4. Improves posture
This is similar to point number 2 in that tight muscles pull at the joints in different ways and this affects your posture and can lead to aches and pains.
Wondering why posture is so important? Good posture contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system sending messages from the body to the brain and back again. Bad posture can lead to fatigue, joint stiffness and pain as the muscles have to work significantly harder to hold you up.
5. Reduce stress
A build up of stress causes your muscles to contract and become tense. Stretching reduces the tension in the body encouraging your to feel more relaxed and increased blood flow.
6. Reduce Fatigue
If your muscles are not moving for a long period of time the blood pools in the muscles and this can lead you to feel tired and sluggish. Stretching gets the muscles moving, encourages blood flow and oxygen back to the muscles so that you don’t feel the fatigue.
Know someone who would benefit from this? We would love it if you shared it with them using any of the links below.
I want to hear from you:
Do you currently stretch enough?