“I’ll stretch later”… We have likely all told ourselves at one point or another, only to find that “later” never came.
With schedules packed to the brim, it can be difficult to find time in the day to fit in a workout or a nice relaxing jog with the family. It can be even MORE difficult to find adequate time to stretch and relax your muscles after. However, stretching is more important than most believe.
With only a few noted below, stretching has a wide range of benefits that can assist in ensuring that you remain active and healthy for years to come.
- Stretching assists in decreasing muscle stiffness, resulting in fewer joint related injuries
- Stretching can actually help to reduce or manage every day stress by alleviating tension felt throughout the body
- Stretching promotes both circulation and blood flow
- Stretching can assist in improving upon your posture
When should I stretch and how much time should this take?
- Stretching is a vital part of recovery, and can prevent against the buildup of lactic acid. Therefore, you should plan for the final 10-15 minutes of your workout to include a light cooldown, mixed with a variety of stretches. Your cool down should include “static stretches” working the muscle groups activated during your workout. For example, if you did squats – you will want to stretch your glutes, holding each stretch for approximately 30 seconds. If you ran, a light jog or even a 10 minute walk can be beneficial to the body.
Stretching not only has a vast number of benefits, but it also does NOT have to take long. Plan ahead and ensure to take 10-15 minutes to stretch those muscles at the end of each workout in order to remain healthy, happy, and active!
Crockford, J. (2014, January 9). Five Reasons you Shouldn’t Skip Your Cooldown. Retrieved August 20, 2016, from http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/59/3683/five-reasons-you-shouldn-t-skip-your-cool/