The title of this post was a conversation I overheard by two teens running on the treadmills next to me. They both jumped on and turned on the machines. One of them asks, “Should we stretch first?” and the the other responds, “Who cares!” and immediately sets his treadmill to 7.0 mph and takes off running. I stretch and walk for 5 minutes at a brisk pace before I take off running.
Stretching seems to be an underrated part of fitness even for people who have worked out all of their lives. I don’t always do it and but I tend to do it more often as I’ve made myself much more aware of it. For those of us who underestimate the importance of stretching, below outlines the details of why we should incorporate it before and after every workout:
Benefits of stretching
- Allows muscles to warm up helping to prevent cramping and strain
- Helps to maximize the range of motions of your joints
- Increased flexibility
- More nutrients and blood accessing the tissues
- Less risk of injury
- Improved posture
- Helps in relaxation
Besides stretching for fitness reasons, relaxation is my favorite reason for stretching. I can understand the reasons behind yoga and its calming effect. I like performing a good stretching routine right before bed and after waking. I find it so relaxing and meditative.
So if anyone ever asks if “Should we stretch first?” before exercising – please say yes!
[tags]stretching, flexibility, muscles, relaxation, posture[/tags]