YES. It is a must. I am really really really bad about stretching. That is usually the first thing I skip when I am running out of time at the gym or even at home when I run. I just want to get going. That being said I know too well that when I don’t stretch I do pay a price. First of all, (and selfishly) when I do stretch on a regular basis: I look leaner. THAT is enough (not that I am so vain) for me to be on board of the stretching wagon (is there such a place?).
Benefits of stretching…let me count the ways (can you tell I like lists and counting…mmm….I know it does say something about me)
1. Leaner muscle (I know I already said it but come on! LEANER!)
2. Clears your mind
3. Increased circulation to the different parts of your body
4. Increased energy level (from increased circulation!)
5. Better Coordination
6. Increased range of movement in the joints
7. Reducing muscle tension from exercise
8. Improving your future performance
9. Lowering the risk of activity based injuries
10. Better posture
11. Stress release (think yoga)
12. Time to mentally prepare (pre-workout stretch) or evaluate (post workout)
13. Greater sense of well-being
14. Better balance
So, before you skip out on taking 5 minutes before and after your workouts or runs, think of all the good things you will be missing out on!
Let’s get stretching! Let’s get moving! Go for a walk! Breath in and breath out!
Peace and lean,