Physical fitness is becoming a major interest in the United States. As people seek out ways to combat the growing obesity crisis, many Americans have discovered that working out can be a great way to burn fat and build muscle. However, many of these people fail to understand the importance of stretching before a workout. Many people believe that stretching only adds more time to an already time-consuming process, and simply can’t be bothered to do it. Many experts say that this couldn’t be further from the truth, and that stretching should be an integral part of your workout. So why is stretching so important? Here are four ways stretching can help your workout.
Less Risk of Injury
The most common reason cited for stretching before a workout is its ability to prevent injury. Proper stretching can make your muscles more flexible and limber, lessening the chance that an injury can occur. Sometimes when you’re working out, you could simply move the wrong way or move your body at an awkward angle. If your body hasn’t stretched beforehand, these slight movements could actually cause an injury. You could have a pulled or strained muscle from these movements, lessening your ability to work out and possibly even sidelining you for a considerable amount of time. Stretching is an important part of injury prevention, so if you don’t want to struggle with injuries from working out then you definitely should stretch beforehand.
Another reason to stretch before your workout is the increased energy it can give you before your workout. When combined with deep breathing, stretching can make you feel relaxed and calm, giving you the energy you need to tackle your workout. In addition, stretching can provide you with enough time to mentally prepare for your workout. Rather than simply showing up and starting your workout, stretching can provide you enough time for your body to adjust to the environment and prepare itself for the workout ahead.
As mentioned before, stretching can greatly improve your flexibility. However, the increased flexibility that stems from stretching does much more than just prevent injury. There are many exercises that require a decent amount of flexibility to complete, and unless you stretch frequently or are naturally flexible, you’ll never be able to incorporate these exercises into your workout routine. Improving your flexibility is key in allowing you to add more exercises to your workout repertoire and furthering the overall quality of your workout.
As we become more reliant on technology, we’re going to naturally spend more time on our various devices. Today, millions of people spend several hours every day either hunched over their phones or sit at their computer desks with horrible posture. There’s a long list of negative health effects that come with bad posture, including back soreness, headaches, and respiratory problems. It’s easy to fall into bad posture with how much time we spend on electronic devices, something that only adds to the importance of fixing your posture. Thankfully, stretching can actually help you improve your posture, helping you to avoid these problems. Stretching improves the flexibility of muscles in your back that directly relate to posture, allowing you to have better posture. Not only will this allow you to have improved posture and form during your workouts, but it could also save you from a slew of negative side effects that stem from having bad posture throughout everyday life.