Is Stretching Good for You?
To stretch or not to stretch? That is the question. But, the answer is simple: Stretch! Stretching exercises are good for you in so many ways. We want to dive into those today and give you a little insight into why stretching should be a part of your routine.
The Importance of Flexibility
When you improve your flexibility, a lot of other things improve right along with it, like balance, posture, and even strength. It is essential when you are young and even as you age, to maintain the flexibility to be able to do the things that you may take for granted now, like putting on socks or bending down to pick something you have dropped. One way to stay flexible is to stretch and to stretch often.
Benefits Of Stretching
Decrease Stiffness, Aches, and Pains
You know the feeling a few days after a tough workout when standing up from a sitting position is 100x harder to do? Stretching before and after your workout can help with that! Making stretching a consistent part of your routine will help to maintain or increase your range of motion and help to keep your joints healthier longer. Stretching before and after your workout can also be very beneficial for injury prevention.
According to OR Today, stretching can help to counteract the effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time and, in turn, reduce the lower back pain as an effect. So, stretching can help you stand a little taller with better posture and walk through life with less pain overall — win/win.
When your muscles hold tension, it adds more stress to your body than needed. By stretching your muscles out, you can reduce the tension in your body and feel less stressed overall. So, if you are particularly stressed out, a gentle yoga class or muscle stretching tutorial could help you out!
Stretching allows your body to receive better blood flow. This one little thing has a domino effect of benefits, like more energy, improved memory, and quicker healing times, to name a few.
Where to Start
The best place to start—as with most things in life—is where you are comfortable. If you are a beginner or want an awesome yoga workout, a great place to get a stretch is in one of our yoga classes either in The Studio or your group exercise room. We love this option because you will learn proper techniques in front of an instructor who can guide you through the movements, and there will be a community of people stretching right along with you. If you would like to give it a try on your own, check out resources online for dynamic and static stretching.
When to Stretch
A lot of people think that a little calf stretch after a leg exercise is plenty when it comes to stretching after a workout, but it is not. You should be stretching before and after your workout for best results—but, those styles of stretching differ. Before your workout, you will want to try dynamic stretching. This means that you are completing dynamic stretches and movements that mimic the exercise you are about to complete. These stretches can often be a part of your never-to-miss warm-up routine. Examples include butt kicks, arm swings, core twists, and the like. After your workout is when you will want to complete static stretching, these are the stretches you may visualize when you hear the word “stretch”. Calf stretches, pidgeon pose, tricep stretches, and the like are all static stretches.
Bottom line: you should be incorporating daily stretching into your workout routine. Establishing a solid stretching routine can benefit you in so many ways. You can find plenty of places to stretch out at all of our locations. Whether you use the turf area, group exercise class, or find a spot on the gym floor, there is a comfortable place for everyone to stretch before and after their workouts. If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our team members, they would be happy to show you a few stretches or find someone who can. We cannot wait to get to know you!