Stretching: 7 Reasons Why it is Awesome

 in Medford - Xtreme Ninja Martial Arts Center

Stretching can be under appreciated. At least I did not care for it myself until I started researching this article! Personally I used to find stretching boring, uncomfortable, and a chore that just made me think “ugh” when starting to do it.

 

If this sounds familiar, read on to learn some facts that might make stretching more motivating, and if you already enjoy stretching, you might learn a benefit that you did not know about! As always, you can find resources to learn more about stretching and its benefits at the bottom of this article.

 

Reason 1: Stretching is good for everyone!

 

Of all ages and abilities!  

 

It’s good for kids, who can increase their flexibility, prevent them from getting injured, teach them patience and healthy habits. Stretching can benefit adults of all fitness levels, those beginning, advanced, recovering from an injury or just trying to reach their toes for the first time.  

 

Reason 2: Stretching can improve blood flow and circulation 

 

Without getting into the squishy science of it, stretching gets more blood flowing through those tight muscles. The blood helps wash away built up lactic acid and other “stuff” that makes you sore, as well as bringing oxogen and nutrients to repair any damage in the muscles. This is why stretching feels so good after a tough workout.

 

 

Reason 3: Because of above, stretching = faster workout recovery and being less sore the next day 

 

This is especially helpful for beginners. I know after my first kickboxing class ever, I did not do a proper stretch after and felt really sore and uncomfortable the next day. While some soreness is expected after a particularly hard or new workout, a good stretch afterwards can reduce how much. And stretching while you are already sore greatly helps reduce the discomfort as well.

 

Reason 4: Better range of motion! 

It is simply fun to be able to kick higher or get closer to that full split. Being able to move better can help you feel more comfortable throughout your day as well, and not just on the mats. It’s amazing how stiff people can get from simply living life, and stretching regularly can help make getting out of chairs and walking up stairs more comfortable as well. 

 


 

Reason 5: Better joint health! 

 

This one may not be obvious, but it really is true. Stretching can help lengthen and engage the muscles around your joints, keeping them more balanced and healthy. Personally I have not-great knees, and doing hamstring and straight leg stretches offer immediate relief if my knees start to hurt. During a vacation where I was on my feet all day, I forgot to stretch and by the middle of the day I could barely walk my knees where so bad. 5 minutes of starching in a corner, and I was ready to continue! 

 

Reason 6: Stress reduction 

 

Science says tight, stiff muscles especially in the shoulders can increase stress hormones, and that stretching can help reduce this! Along with slow, controlled breathing that accompanies stretching, this practice can really help bring calm to your day.

 

 

Reason 7: injury prevention 

 

You probably had heard this before, but it’s true! Stretching can help keep you limber, so if you may be less likely to get hurt if you hit the bag at an odd angle or land from a jump a little too much to the side. 


So why not add 5 min of stretching after your workout a try? 

 

Rescores:  

https://www.verywellfit.com/stretching-101-2696342— “stretching 101” 

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/does-stretching-help-you-sleep-heres-why-you-should-make-it-a-nightly-routine-8313614— has a fun little 2 minute vid 

https://stress.lovetoknow.com/Why_Does_Stretching_Release_Stress— on stretching and stress reduction 

 

Article and photos by E-tak MSo you or your child has just finished an intense warmup, and now the class goes for a short group stretch. Brimming with energy and adrenaline, you may wonder how important these stretch sessions are. And the answer is very! 



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