Sometimes it’s tough to find enough time to fit in a good workout, so it’s no wonder that an important element to your overall health often gets overlooked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a healthy exercise prescription should consist of three things: cardiovascular training, strength training, and flexibility training. While the first two elements are usually the stars on the workout stage, it is equally important to incorporate stretching into your regular fitness routine.
Why You Shouldn’t Skimp on Stretching Time:
1. Stretching Reduces the Risk of Injury
Stiff muscles can’t adapt as easily to stressors as loose muscles can, so they are more prone to strains when overworked. Muscle tightness can also be attributed to injuries to the bones and joints, like lower back problems, shoulder issues, poor posture, and exaggerated pelvic tilt. Get flexible with this stretching video.
2. Stretching Improves Your Overall Athletic Performance
The more flexible you are, the greater your range of motion will be. A greater range of motion means you will be able to create more force in your activities. Check out this Train Like a Baseball Player Workout.
3. Stretching Improves Circulation
When you stretch, you increase blood flow to the muscles. Not only does this help to nourish the muscles and provide them with much needed oxygen, but increased circulation helps to remove waste byproducts, leading to a quicker recovery time post-workout. Click here for 5 Benefits of Being Flexible.
4. Stretching Alleviates and Prevents Lower Back Pain
When certain muscles, like hip flexors, legs, and shoulders are tight, it can cause the pelvis to tilt forward. This puts undo pressure on the lower back, resulting in pressure or pain. Be sure to read these Tips for Relieving Sore Muscles.
5. Stretching Improves Production of Synovial Fluid
As we age, our bones and joints become more and more delicate. Stretching helps to increase the production of synovial fluid in the joints, allowing nutrients to be transported to the area. This, in turn, leads to a greater range of motion and a reduction of joint degeneration over time. Check out these Superfoods for Strong Bones!
6. Stretching Will Ensure that You Enjoy Physical Activity
Nobody likes pain. When physical activity becomes painful, it’s difficult to enjoy. Maintaining a flexible body, with a greater range of motion, will make it much easier to enjoy physical activity over extended periods of time. Not only will this allow you to remain active and enjoy life more freely, but you’ll be happier, as studies show that those who are physically active report having a higher quality of life.