Stretching to maintain flexibility is a key part to any fitness plan. It’s essential to your recovery and injury prevention. Whether you are engaging in cardio or weight training, stretching should be incorporated before and after your workouts. Stretching before will prevent injury and stretching after will contribute to a speedy recovery. Even if you sit at a desk for most of the day, you should still make it a priority to have a stretching session at some point during the day.
1. Stretching Reduces Soreness & Stiffness
Stretching can be the simple remedy for tight or sore muscles. When you stretch these muscles, it will improve your range of motion.
2. Stretching Promotes Injury Reduction
Making sure your muscles have been stretched before sudden movements can play a vital role in preventing injury. You automatically decrease the resistance on your muscles when you stretch, therefore you decrease the risk of injury when you engage in different activities.
3. Stretching Provides Postural Support
For every inch that the head moves forward in an incorrect postural position, the unneeded weight upon the neck is increased by 10 pounds. This is called forward head posture, and it is usually cause by poor posture and tight muscles that have not been stretched. This is just one example of the damage that poor posture can do, and how important it is to stretch so that the body can be in alignment.
Wellness Tip: Take 5-15 minutes a day to stretch. This can be first thing in the morning, or even at your desk during work. Some of the most important and beneficial stretches are the downward dog stretch, the hip flexor stretch and gentle neck stretches that help loosen the front and back neck muscles. Yoga is another great way to stretch the entire body, and if your schedule allows for it, then we highly recommend making yoga a part of your life.