How Stretching Helps

One aspect of phys­i­cal exer­cise that many peo­ple don’t con­sider much is stretch­ing. Many folks jump head­long into their work­out rou­tine with­out giv­ing much thought to whether or not they should take the time to stretch. They end their work­outs with­out tak­ing a few moments to stretch their mus­cles and relax. But stretch­ing your mus­cles before and after a work­out can ben­e­fit you in many ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Stretch­ing helps main­tain range of motion of both mus­cles and joints. This allows you to move around more eas­ily and with­out discomfort.
  • Stretch­ing read­ies the body for exer­tion and pain. It allows the body to warm up, helps send blood to the right places, and ensures the mus­cles get the needed oxy­gen and nutrients.
  • Stretch­ing helps to reduce the risk of injury. It helps keep mus­cles flex­i­ble and mobile. It helps elon­gate mus­cles. Long mus­cles are less liable to tear.
  • Stretch­ing helps to reduce stiff­ness. Stretch­ing after a work­out encour­ages mus­cles to release tox­ins built up dur­ing exer­cise into the blood­stream. There, they can be bro­ken down and eliminated.
  • Stretch­ing pro­motes cir­cu­la­tion. Mus­cles need increased blood flow dur­ing exer­cise. Proper stretch­ing can ensure they get it.
  • Stretch­ing improves pos­ture by elon­gat­ing tight mus­cles that pull parts of the body out of their intended position.
  • Stretch­ing feels good in a way other types of exer­cise don’t. A good post-exercise stretch will help you relax. Stretch­ing can even help you cope with stress.