Stretching is not only the best way to increase your flexibility, but it is also a vital form to maintain your body!
When you are stretching your muscles after a long run or doing a few stretches after a few hours sitting at your desk, you can see the benefits of stretching. Most of the time, your body needs it, asks for it and it makes you feel good!
However, we can admit that we should practice it more often. Experts think that the body should receive stretching exercises on a consistent basis. Indeed, flexibility is one of the components of fitness which means that as the other components such as cardio training or strength training, stretching is a necessary part of your fitness routine. Stretching helps the muscles function normally (they will be more receptive) by resolving tension and improving the circulation.
With a consistent stretching routine, you can increase mobility, flexibility, blood flow and muscles function. But also you can:
🔸Help your muscles heal:
One of the main benefits from stretching is that it can recover your muscles after heavy exercises. After a strong training, muscles fibers can be overly contracted. Stretching allows realigning tissue within the muscle and connective tendons so that they can heal. If not stretched, your muscles will be shortened of their range of motion, decreasing your results.
🔸 It prevents aches and pains
When you start noticing discomfort or just minor aches in certain muscles for example if you are sitting at a desk during too many hours, after carrying heavy weight from the supermarket or simply after a tough training, the solution is STRETCHING. Ashes and pains are just a sign that your body needs some extra attention.
🔸 It improves your workouts
Stretching allows you to enhance performance and to get better results. As your range of motion is improved, you will gain in physical performance.
🔸 it improves your movements at a general level
You will be better prepared to perform any kind of physical activity during your daily life (carrying bags, running to catch the bus, climbing stairs, etc).
🔸 It can reduce stress
Stretching training can be really relaxing, specifically the stretching activity when you are taking deep breaths (yoga for example). You can also see it as a form of meditation.
Stretching is specifically recommended to people who sit or stand a lot and for people who train a lot. If you want to increase your flexibility on a permanent and long-term, it is recommended to schedule 2-3 stretching sessions of 30 to 60 minutes a week. Hold each position during at least 30 seconds and be careful not to push a muscle too far.