Stretching is vital for most people, even for those who are healthy. Stretching can strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility. It also helps you burn more calories throughout the day, which leads to weight loss.
A recent study conducted in Brazil and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that highly trained volleyball and basketball players who performed a series of static stretches before play had less protein damage than those who didn’t stretch.
Most people are unaware of the benefits that stretching can have on you. This article aims to inform you about the ten benefits which you gain from stretching.
Stretching Helps you Burn Calories
Doing regular stretches can help tone your body and also increase your flexibility. When you stretch, it helps strengthen your muscles by increasing your muscle strength and endurance, increasing your metabolism throughout the day. The increased metabolism means that you will be burning up to 500 extra calories per day even when you’re not exercising.
Stretching Helps Your Muscles Grow Stronger and Bigger
Having a lean muscular body is what most people want. Stretching is an excellent way of helping your muscles grow stronger and bigger. If you stretch for around 15 minutes before doing weight training, it will increase the elasticity of your muscles which will allow them to lift more weights successfully.
Stretching Reduces Muscle Soreness
After working out, your muscles can feel sore due to the stress they endured during your workout session. To reduce muscle soreness, you should stretch after exercising as it helps flush out lactic acid that causes muscle soreness. In addition to reducing muscle soreness, stretching also reduces the risk of injury and speeds up the recovery time from injury or strain.
Stretching Prevents Injuries
Injuries happen when one of the body parts moves in a way which it is not supposed to. Stretching helps prevent injuries by increasing your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Stretches also reduce the stress on ligaments and tendons.
Stretching Increases Blood Flow
Stretching exercises increase blood flow around the muscles because stretching puts pressure on the muscle tissues, which are forced to expand, resulting in more blood being delivered to those areas. The increased blood flow means that you will have more energy for daily activities and get rid of fatigue.
Stretching Reduces Stress
Have you ever felt so stressed out that you felt like breaking something? Well, if yes, then this benefit should be interesting for you. Stretching can help relieve tension due to its ability to relax your body and reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, stretching also reduces the level of cortisol which is a stress hormone in the body.
Stretching Promotes Better Posture
People who have a sedentary lifestyle tend to have bad posture. This is because sitting for long periods causes your muscles to shorten and tighten, resulting in a slouched or hunched look that nobody wants. When you stretch regularly, it helps keep your body flexible to maintain good posture throughout the day.
Fitness Experts Recommend Stretching
Ever wondered why every fitness studio you visit has a stretching area? This is because fitness experts suggest that all gym participants start their training with about 10 minutes of stretching. Stretching is the foundation of any workout session because it helps improve muscle strength, power, and endurance.
Stretching Increases Energy Levels
Have you ever felt so stiff that you have difficulty moving? When your muscles are tight, they pull on your bones which causes an imbalance in the kinetic chain resulting in reduced movement. Stretching can help improve your energy levels when done right because it helps increase the flexibility of the muscles, which in turn results in increased energy.
Stretching Improves Physical Performance
It is a known fact that every athlete spends a considerable amount of time stretching before starting their workout sessions. This is not without reason. Stretching improves physical performance by increasing the range of motion and reducing muscle stiffness, resulting in superior athletic ability. In addition, stretching also reduces muscle fatigue and soreness after workouts, allowing you to work out for more extended periods.
How often should I stretch?
A simple rule to follow is that you should hold each stretch for 20 seconds and repeat the process 3 times. This means that it will take you around 6 minutes to complete an entire stretching session. Of course, you can increase or decrease the number of repetitions and time depending on your fitness level and age.
How long should my stretching workout last?
A stretching workout for beginners should not exceed 10 minutes, including 5 minutes of warm-up exercises and 5 minutes of stretching. As you get older, physical conditions such as arthritis can make it challenging to perform weight training exercises. In this case, experts recommend that people over 65 years old spend more time warming up with gentle stretches before starting their workout sessions.
Is it necessary to warm up before stretching?
Yes, you must start your stretching session with some light exercises such as jogging on the spot or arm swinging which elevates your body temperature and prepares your muscles for more intense activities.
Why shouldn’t I stretch too much?
While many people ignore this advice, experts recommend that you not spend more than 10 minutes stretching at one time because overstretching can cause injury to ligaments and tendons. This is why it is essential to stretch in moderation while listening to your body’s needs.
The Bottom Line
Stretching is vital for everyone, regardless of age. Whether you are entering the gym for the first time or an experienced athlete, stretching should always be at the top of your list because it improves physical performance, reduces muscle soreness after workouts, prevents injuries, and much more. In addition, stretches can be done at home using simple routines which do not require any equipment. So, what are you waiting for? Start stretching today!