HomeMovement & FitnessEmbrace the Benefits of Stretching

Embrace the Benefits of Stretching

When we consider an active and healthy lifestyle, stretching often takes a backseat, underestimated and underutilized. However, what many fail to realize is that stretching holds a vital place in our overall well-being. Muscle tightness can occur not only during physical activity when our muscles contract but also in periods of passivity, leading to muscle shortening. This tightness can result in decreased range of motion and the potential development of muscle imbalances.

Traditional stretching, known as static stretching, involves holding a position until you feel the stretch. By engaging in stretching exercises, you can significantly improve joint mobility and enhance your overall flexibility. Stretching serves to lengthen muscles, reducing tension and increasing blood flow to these vital structures. When you engage in workouts, your body generates lactic acid, contributing to muscle fatigue and soreness. Stretching can play a role in eliminating the buildup of this lactic acid, aiding in muscle recovery and relaxation.

To fully reap the rewards of stretching, consistency is key. Aim to incorporate stretching exercises into your routine 2-3 times per week. Hold each stretch for a duration of 15-30 seconds. It’s important to note that during stretching, you should experience tension but not pain. If you encounter pain, it’s a signal that you’ve pushed too far, risking injury.

Additionally, for older adults, gentle movements in practices like yoga can significantly contribute to balance and fall prevention.

For optimal results, schedule your stretching sessions post-workout when your muscles are warmed up and pliable. Studies suggest that performing static stretching before activities such as running, jumping, or weightlifting can actually hinder performance. Instead, consider incorporating dynamic stretching into your pre-exercise routine. Dynamic stretching involves moving a limb through its full range of motion, repeating this motion several times. If you’re dedicating a day solely to stretching, ensure you warm up your muscles by engaging in light activities such as walking to prepare them for the stretches ahead.

In conclusion, don’t underestimate the value of stretching in your quest for a healthy and active lifestyle. It’s a practice that not only improves flexibility and mobility but also aids in muscle recovery, relaxation, and overall well-being. By incorporating stretching into your routine, you’ll empower yourself to move with greater ease, comfort, and resilience.


Stretching: Focus On Flexibility. (2020, January 31). Retrieved May 07, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931

Page, P. (2012, February). Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. Retrieved May 07, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

Simic, L., Sarabon, N., & Markovic, G. (2013, March). Does pre-exercise static stretching inhibit maximal muscular performance? A meta-analytical review. Retrieved May 07, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22316148