When it comes to exercise and getting in better shape, strength training, muscle building and cardiovascular endurance often get the most attention. But what about flexibility?
Yes, we’re talking about stretching. If you’re already a fitness junkie, then you’re probably quite familiar with the overall importance of stretching, but if not, then we strongly recommend checking out this useful information! You may think of stretching as something that is performed only by runners, gymnasts, or cyclists. However, stretching should routinely be practiced by nearly everyone, especially those who are active and standing on their legs a lot.
At Intelligent Fitness Personal Training, we want our clients to experience the highest level of success possible, and stretching is a part of that success. That’s why our private fitness training gym near Greentown and North Canton wants you to build lean muscle and trim unwanted fat safely, so you can achieve your fitness goals without accidentally hurting yourself. Continue reading below to discover the amazing benefits that stretching has to offer!
Stretching Increases Flexibility and Range of Motion
Yes, this is probably the most obvious benefit of proper stretching, but also probably the most important benefit. Thoroughly stretching before and after any extent of exercise will improve your performance the next time you workout, speed up your recovery time between workouts, and even improve your overall posture.
Stretching Prevents DOMS and Overall Soreness
This also one of the major benefits of stretching – preventing and reducing the soreness of your muscles. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, occurs roughly 24-48 hours following exercise. DOMS is thought to be caused by microscopic tears in the muscle that progressively heal over a relatively short period of time. Stretching before and after considerable exercise will minimize any damage and unpleasantness associated with DOMS.
Stretching Improves Your Sports Performance
Athletes are constantly obsessed with improving and getting better, as are our clients at Intelligent Fitness Personal Training. Many sports naturally require high levels of flexibility, such as that of gymnastics. Even in sports that don’t require a considerable degree of flexibility, like Rugby, for example, can improve their overall athletic performance by becoming more flexible. Having healthy muscles requires flexibility, and can prevent a series of injuries from occurring. Speaking of which…
Stretching Prevents Injuries From Occurring
One of the major benefits that stretching provides is its wonderful ability to mitigate or even prevent injuries from occurring. Thoroughly stretching before and after exercise can help prevent acute injuries like hamstring strain, and also help prevent overuse injuries such as IT band syndrome or plantar fasciitis.
When it comes to stretching specifically for the purpose of injury prevention and mitigation, stretching is a tried and true practice. This is partially because it is thought that having flexible muscles can prevent acute injuries by gently stretching the muscle through its range of motion before actually starting exercise. Fitness experts even recommend ‘dynamic’ or active stretching for warm-ups over the traditional static stretch, but we’ll go into detail about that in another post.
Stretching Helps Relieve Physical and Mental Stress
Have you ever felt all pent up from being in the office all day, or felt physically sore due to completing chores all day? Do financial stresses have your legs all tied up? If so, then stretching is your friend! Like yoga, Pilates or other types of movement that incorporate flexibility, stretching is a fantastic way to make the stresses of the day melt away.
Ideally, you should come out of a stretching session feeling more relaxed, centered, physically comfortable, and be thinking a lot less about all those stressors that don’t seem to matter as much after a good, quality stretch.
Stretching Improves Overall Posture
As we mentioned earlier, stretching can have a very positive impact on the quality of your day-to-day posture. When it comes to poor posture developing over time, it is usually due to muscle imbalances. A typical example of poor posture due to muscle imbalances is the chest muscles becoming shortened in people who tend to slouch over a computer for long periods of time, like a standard eight-hour work day. Stretching these muscles out can significantly improve posture.
Stretch With Us at Intelligent Fitness Personal Training!
We want you to reach your fitness goals quickly, but more importantly, safely. What’s the point of working out if you’re only going to get hurt due to improper stretching practices? Maximize all of the time and hard efforts that you put in through our personal training fitness program by getting your stretch on. Stay tuned for a future post on various stretching techniques and styles!