The importance of stretching
Why you should do so before and after workouts.
A lot of people who exercise forget the importance of stretching before or after their workouts. Most aerobic and strength-training programs naturally cause your muscles to contract and flex. That is why regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program.
Stretching increases our muscles’ ability to be flexible, and flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Bending to reach something on the floor, getting out of a car or hurrying to catch an elevator can become easier and less strenuous.
Stretching also improves circulation. It increases blood flow and aids your cardiovascular system for a better and smoother blood flow to your muscles.
Last thing to remember: When you are stretching, keep it gentle. Breathe freely as you hold each stretch. Do not bounce. Expect to feel tension while you are stretching. If you feel pain while stretching the specific muscle group, you have gone too far.
Alton Arevalo is a fitness specialist at the Health Zone, which is a part of Saint Francis Health System. He is also an active member of Tulsa’s Young Professionals.