It’s often tempting to jump into workouts or run straight away. But be patient! It is not only beneficial but absolutely necessary to incorporate stretching before starting any form of physical activity. Whether this consists of a few lunges, arm swings, or simply upper back twists as soon as you wake up, here’s why stretching is so important.
From an athlete’s point of view, it is needed to prevent injuries. When you prepare muscles that are pliable, you are less likely to sustain a severe injury as you build up strength. Regularly warming them up for at least 2 minutes, a couple times a week, further builds mobility. Movement generated by muscles becomes smoother and fluid, which further reduces the likelihood of injury. This increased mobility can further reduce muscle soreness after an intense workout routine. In addition, stretching helps to improve your posture, as you straighten your body and allow proper alignment. In fact, daily stretching muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and hip flexors is an excellent method in helping to correct poor posture or poor back pain. Stretching further benefits the body internally. It considerably raises blood supply, which increases nutrient supply as well since they are transported via blood.
You can even stretch at home, when sitting in bed and scrolling on your phone. Many people tend to lazily stretch as soon as they wake up, which interestingly enough has certain health benefits. During sleep, our muscles tend to lose tone and fluid collects along the back – stretching is thus an almost instinctive act to realign the muscles and massage the fluid carefully back. Not only this, but there are mental benefits. The process of stretching, no matter how intense, releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings. It is a way to recharge, lose tension and raise energy levels.