We shouldn’t need more reasons to stretch right? It seems so simple. Stretch before and after every workout. You have been told that since a young age before doing any physical activity.
If it is so obvious, then why do so many of us (including myself) jump right into our workout far too often.
If you are anything like me this sequence will sound all too familiar.
- Get to the gym.
- Shake my legs and arms around a bit.
- Maybe, and I said maybe do 5 minutes on the bike or elliptical.
- Touch my toes and do that classic arm stretch that I don’t know what it even does.
- BOOM! It’s go time.
If that sounds familiar then you have fallen into the same pitfall as me before I made a change and commitment to stretching more. I get it though. Time is valuable and if you can cut something out, stretching seems like the easiest thing to save time on.
Why we need to stop cutting stretching short
The American Council of Excercise compiled a researched list of the top 10 benefits of stretching. There are 5 benefits of stretching that really stood out to me that are important to my fitness goals.
Top 5 reasons to stretch more
- Reduces risk of injury (funny how I have had issues with this)
- Increases your range of motion (also have had issues with this)
- Helps reduce stress (I mean, who could benefit from less stress right?)
- Decreases muscle stiffness (This is a big one for muscle recovery and just feeling better)
- Promotes circulation (amazing overall health benefit)
I mean honestly. Read those five things again. Those are all such amazing benefits that can improve our lives and health. Here are all 10 benefits from ACE if you want to read the rest
The next time you find yourself in a hurry at the gym here is my advice. Get a full stretch in. To save time try utilizing supersets and doing HIIT cardio. I have found those to be a better use of my time at the gym. In addition to that, I have also been getting great results utilizing both supersets and HIIT.
Lastly, for more workouts and fitness inspiration, follow me, @DominiqueClare on Instagram.