10 reasons we should all stretch
Palace for Life Football Development coaches have given us their expert advice on why you should be stretching and which stretches you could do when you exercise.
Why is it important to stretch and how can it help you?
- Decreased stress: Regularly stretching has been shown to reduce mental tension and release endorphins.
- Reduced pain & stiffness: Regularly performing static stretching can help to decrease stiffness, reduce pain levels from exercise.
- Improved health: Stretching can help to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate, counteracting the body’s physiological responses to stress and muscular tension.
- Enhanced range of motion: By stretching you can increase you overall range of motion, including key areas that are designed to be mobile, such as the hips and shoulders.
- Improved muscular function: Regular stretching utilising a variety of flexibility training techniques helps to improve overall physical function by ensuring that the body can more effectively respond to the stresses imposed by various types of movement and activity.
- Reduced risk of injury: Stretching is often considered an important part of injury prevention, as cold muscles and tendons in the body have a greater likelihood of rupture, strain or sprain.
- Enhanced performance: Stretching can help enhance agility, power, speed and muscular strength
- Improved blood flow and circulation: Regular flexibility training can help to improve blood flow and circulation,
- Minimized wear & tear on joints: Regular stretching helps to ensure the muscles on each side of a joint maintain an equal degree of pull so that the joint is able to move freely and efficiently in all directions, allowing for optimal movement and less stress on the body.
- Improved quality of life: Regularly stretching and performing range of motion exercises can improve flexibility at any age, helping to increase longevity and enhance overall quality of life.
‘Dynamic stretching’, which is performed as part of a movement, is best to be done before exercise, while ‘static stretching’ is best to do once your muscles are warm (after exercise). HERE are some examples of ‘static stretches’ to try.