4 reasons why you should be stretching
Stretching is one of the most essential rituals for anyone who’s physically active, and for good reason. It offers a wide range of benefits for both your body and mind, so why not turn stretching into a new habit?
1 | It relaxes your muscles
It’s not uncommon for people to feel indifferent about stretching. Often overlooked (and sometimes even considered unnecessary), stretching is actually a fitness habit that’s as just important as warming up. After your workout, it helps your muscles fully recover. Stretching exercises make the perfect supplement to your usual workout and can even maximize your results.
2 | It prevents injury
Stretching restores elasticity, length and flexibility in the muscles you used during exercise. By letting them relax, you’re promoting the regeneration of the muscle fibers that were damaged during your workout, in addition to gaining a wider range of motion. The result? Better post-workout recovery and less muscle fatigue. In turn, practicing stretching makes your workouts more efficient. Like proper hydration and restful sleep, stretching is also a healthy habit that keeps injuries at bay.
3 | It reduces stiffness
If you often feel tense and stiff, we’ve got good news for you: gently stretching your body is one of the best ways to reduce muscle and joint stiffness.
Physiotherapists recommend that you stretch regularly, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, like at the office. Stretching helps loosen up your body and is one of the natural remedies for back pain and sciatica.
4 | It helps you unwind
Another reason to stretch is that you can focus on yourself for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Some athletes use it as a way to relieve stress and reconnect with themselves, just like meditation and yoga. Doing a few stretches before bedtime can help light sleepers fall asleep faster, too.
Tips for stretching right
Although stretching is highly beneficial, there are still a few guidelines you should follow to ensure you’re stretching correctly. Poor technique or positions, especially when done in a hurry, can backfire and do more harm than good. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you start stretching:
- Take the time to stretch at the end of your usual workout by targeting the areas of your body that you used. Alternatively, you can stretch specific areas outside of your workout. Stretch each part of your body for an average of 20 seconds. Not sure how? FizzUp offers you stretches at the end of your workout and shows you how to do them. Just follow the trainer!
- It shouldn’t hurt: Stretching should gently pull on the targeted area but shouldn’t be painful. Stop the stretch if you need to.
- Be gentle and stretch progressively: Slowly get into the stretching position, then gradually stretch the muscle without forcing it. Otherwise, this can put unneeded tension on the muscle. Stretching exercises should adapt to your body, not the other way around. Here’s the trick: be sure to listen to your body and not push your limits. Your body will thank you for it!
- Stretch regularly: Like any physical activity, the benefits become evident the more you do it. If you want to stretch outside of your workout, pick a time that works best for you and your schedule: in the morning to wake up your body or in the evening around bedtime to help you fall asleep, for instance.
Stretching is an excellent way to relax your muscles, boost your flexibility and relieve stiffness and tension. It’s a habit that helps your body unwind and better recover from exercise, making your workouts even more effective. And it’s never too late to get started! Whether it’s at the end of your workout or with a dedicated stretching program, let FizzUp guide you in your new stretching routine!