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May 24, 2023

Stretching is so overrated, right?

How many times have you heard that or even thought that in your mind?

For me, it took me getting hurt or dealing with some type of pain before it really dawned on me to take time out to stretch. Why is that?

Honestly, just not making the time for it. I ask myself this same question the other day like, Felicia, why is it so hard to take time out to stretch? It wasn’t that it was hard, I was simply not making time for it. I was making time for my runs, making time for my workouts yet miraculously I didn’t have time to really stretch.

Sadly, even though we may know the importance of stretching we still may not make time for it. For example, I say it’s important to stretch because it will help in decreasing injuries but yet still even for me it took me getting hurt again for me to truly realize the importance of taking time out to stretch.

So seriously why stretch?

5 Benefits of Stretching

  1. Stretching can prevent injuries.
    When you take time out to stretch you are helping make the muscles pliable. Think of it this way. When a muscle is tight and then you try and do a movement that stretches that muscle you are more likely to pull the muscle because it is so tight. However, if I stretch the muscle and that muscle is pliable and working at its full capacity you’re less likely to pull or strain that muscle.
  2. Stretching can improve posture.
    Tight muscles can cause poor posture which can lead to other problems and pain.
  3. Stretching can decrease muscle soreness.
    Wow really, yes. Stretching can help alleviate the discomfort from a workout. When you take time out to stretch a muscle after a workout you help in decreasing the muscle soreness.
  4. Stretching helps improve the range of motion.
    So, you know how you have always wanted to gain flexibility? Stretching helps to increase the range of motion. We lose range of motion when we are building muscles because the muscles become tighter. Stretching helps to elongate the muscle from that tightness, therefore, increasing the range of motion. Even if some joints the range of motion is limited, stretching can help improve this.
  5. Stretching can decrease back pain.
    This goes hand and hand with poor posture and tight muscles. When our hips or the back of our legs (hamstrings) our tight then we put a lot of pressure on our low back; this causes back pain. In addition, if we have poor posture in our upper back then we cause more pressure in our low back which can increase back pain. Stretching helps to alleviate back pain by improving posture and decreasing tight muscles.

So, the next time that you are running out of the gym or finishing up a run and heading straight to the car think about these things and take the time out to stretch. Your body will thank you later.

By: Felicia. R. Hall @feliciarhall
Felicia is an educator and motivator at heart. Felicia is a Certified Athletic Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Run & Fitness Coach, RYT 200 Yoga Instructor, Educator, and a doctoral candidate. She is a small-town girl who loves running, nature, and helping others become the best version of themselves.