Ever been lectured about the importance of stretching before physical activity? I know I have!
But what we may not realize or understand is how important it is not only before strenuous activity but also just making it a daily routine.
Stretching helps with keeping the muscles strong and flexible. We need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles and become tight and the chance of injury is increased.
Stretching before exercise: Stretching helps prepare your body for the exercise it's about to get so you won’t get injured. Make your pre-exercise stretching DYNAMIC.
Stretching after exercise: Reduces muscle fatigue along with helping your muscles recover faster after a difficult workout.
Benefits of stretching as a morning routine:
• Improve your energy levels
• Reduce soreness and increase blood circulation – Helps your muscles to relax and improves blood flow
• Relieve stress – Improving blood flow like I mentioned above can make you feel more at ease
• Enhance your flexibility - Increasing flexibility helps prevent injuries
• Improve your posture – Stretching your muscles in the lower back, shoulders and chest, can keep your back healthy and improve your posture
It may seem overwhelming to see all of this information and truly understand why stretching is important but if you just get into a routine, it may be hard at first, but it will pay off in the end to not get injured and feel better all around.
By: Rebecca Popma
Steve Bartz, PT