A lot of athletes overlook the importance of stretching. Stretching adds time to your workouts and may feel unnecessary when you’re tired or ready to go home. However, the importance of stretching cannot be stressed enough. Stretching can enhance your body in both the short term and long term. From helping ease sore muscles after a workout to improving overall flexibility, stretching can do wonders for any active person. Once you realize the importance of stretching, you’ll be sure to throw in some cool-down exercises after every workout.

The Importance of Stretching

Learn More About the Importance of Stretching

Stretching has a long list of benefits—far more than a single blog post can outline. Below are a few of the most important reasons why we stress the importance of stretching.

Improved Circulation

When you stretch, you increase blood flow to the muscle tissue throughout your body. Blood flow to your muscles helps remove waste byproducts that are caught up in the tissue and provides the muscles with nourishment.

Improved Muscle Recovery Time

Muscle recovery time is reduced when circulation to the muscle is improved. As mentioned above, stretching does just that, and the blood also brings nutrients to the muscles. This increase in nutrients helps your muscles recover and gets you back to working out! The importance of stretching isn’t only limited to improving your bodily functions, but those are certainly major benefits that will pay off in the long run.

Stress Management

Muscles tense up when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. It’s your body’s natural defense mechanism. Stretching often will loosen up the muscles and release stress.

Improved Posture

Looser muscles make proper posture more comfortable. Therefore, when you improve your flexibility and prevent your muscles from tightening up, you promote proper posture. As this article published by the Harvard Medical School explains, proper posture enhances balance and core strength, both of which are important for athletes. Furthermore, good posture should reduce the general aches and pains caused by bad posture.

Improve Flexibility by Stretching

Although stretching has a long list of benefits, one we would like to highlight is how it can improve flexibility. When you improve your flexibility, you will:

  • Increase your joints’ range of motion
  • Prevent injuries
  • Perform better in the gym

Cool-Down Exercises: Three Stretches to Try

Here are a few cool-down exercises that will help you stretch out. With a few of these after every workout, you’ll finish your workouts strong and ready for the next challenge.

  1. Pigeon: Sit down on a mat and bend one knee at a 90-degree angle in front of you. Keep the bottom of that foot facing the opposite direction. Extend the other leg behind you. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides. This will open up your hip flexors one at a time.
  2. Seated Shoulder Squeeze: Sit down nice and straight on your mat. Clasp your fists together behind your back, stretch them out back, and squeeze your shoulders together. Hold for 10 seconds. This will open up the chest and release tension in your shoulders.
  3. Standing Quad Stretch: Balance on one leg, bringing the opposite foot off the ground and bending it behind you. Using the arm on the same side, grab your foot and pull it in as close to your glutes as possible while also keeping your knees together. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch feet. This will stretch out your quad muscles.

These are only a few cool-down exercises to help stretch out overworked muscles in the body, so you should always feel free to learn more!

Learn More About the Importance of Stretching

If you want learn more about the importance of stretching and a good workout, reach out to the personal trainers at All Inclusive Health! Our team is ready to help, so please to contact us today online or give us a call at (504) 715 – 0397.