Why is stretching as important as exercise?

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It’s that often overlooked ‘boring bit’ at the beginning or end of a class or session, which we rarely find time or inclination for, but did you know that stretching is just as important as regular exercise itself?

Stretching has major benefits, and while it’s important not to overstretch the muscles, there are certain stretches which can help everyone. It may be that you will need specific stretches to suit you, your sport or activity, or your health and fitness level, so it is always a good idea to speak to a personal trainer before you introduce a stretching regime. Find a personal trainer near you.

– Stretching helps improve flexibility by increasing your range of motion
– Regular stretching can help improve posture by elongating the muscles where there may be some unwanted tightening
– There is potential for stretching to decrease the risk of injury when applied before or after exercise, by reducing tension or lactic build up in the muscles
– Increases blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the muscles therefore helping with recovery
– Stretching can be good for the mind too, as it can help relax the mind while reenergising the body
– Specific stretching can help with the rehabilitation of certain injuries and also help to boost performance. Speak to a personal trainer to find more personally specific stretching for you.

Stretching can be incorporated into your fitness regime so that you are not only benefitting from increased flexibility, mobility and motion but you can also build cardiovascular fitness and muscles strength too.

Choose a flexibility class such as yoga, hot yoga, pilates, or work with a personal trainer to introduce flexibility work for 45-60 minutes at least once a week, and soon you will reap the benefits of a healthy, supple body.

Find a yoga, pilates or flexibility class near you.