Stretching is so important (so we are told) but are you actually incorporating it into your training sessions? Your answer is probably no. In all honesty my answer was too when I started out. It’s easy to just leave the gym straight after your workout but I want you to look at the reasons why you should take those few minutes to reap the benifits. The truth be told stretching has amazing health advantages. Neglecting it could be impacting your fitness results.

‘I just don’t have the time’ is the poorest excuse! All you need is to dedicate 5 minutes to stretching on your training days!

Here are your 5 reasons to stretch:

1. Increase your flexibility- by increasing your flexibility you can get the most out of your cardio or weight session. This in turn maximizes efficiency and safety during training.

2. Helps your balance- by increasing your balance you are able to perform better. You are also not restricted with regards to certain challenging movements either.

3. Prevent injuries- This is by far the most important point! With injury, comes setbacks. The reason why you put time aside is to take care of your body and get the physique you desire. Getting an injury is going to put your training on hold and require alot of rest. Keep in mind that by getting an injury this will not only impact your health now but possible health issues in the future too.

4. Increase your ROM (Range of Motion)- you aren’t just looking after your joints in the near future this is actually an investment in your old age as well!

5. Helps with muscle recovery- stretching optimizes your blood flow which helps oxygen and nutrients get around to your body. This enables your muscles to recover quickly and efficiently. You will also find that by stretching your muscles you will reduces muscle tightness and soreness.

When is the best time to stretch?

So your regime training program should simply look like this: Warm-up, training then stretching.

Why shouldn’t I stretch before training? It has been found to be the more beneficial to stretch after as your muscles and tendons are nice and relaxed which is after training.

So if you haven’t been a stretcher in the past I hope this blog gives you a different perspective on looking after your body. I personally don’t think I needed all 5 reasons to sell me on incorporating stretching into my workout. Besides I think just a few dedicated minutes a day outweighs any lazy negotions in one’s own mind. So fight the force pulling you towards the gym doors straight after your workout. Get into the studio, pull out a mat and stretch those muscles that have just been hard at work.