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Why Stretching is Crucial for Long-Term Health

By Genevieve Cunningham

Recently I watched a track and field practice. While I reminisced on the miles that I no longer had to run, I found myself surprised at the practice itself. While much of the drills were just as I remembered, I was shocked when no one stressed the importance of stretching! The kids just started running … no warm-up, no quick stretch-up, nothing. Didn’t anyone know how much stretching really mattered? Wasn’t anyone concerned about injuries?

The more I watched, the more I realized that the art of stretching had lost its appeal. If you’re one of the many who are tempted to skip the stretch and go for the meat of the workout, take a look at these great reasons why stretching is crucial for your health and wellness.

It Prevents Injuries

Stretching before (and after) a practice helps prevent injuries. When you stretch, your muscles warm up and elongate. This prepares them for the activity that is just ahead. When you skip this step, your muscles stay tight and as you jump into your workout, you will be much more likely to strain or stress your muscles, leading to severe injury or at least a break from your regular routine as you heal.

It Helps Alleviate Pain

This is especially true if you take advantage of the stretch after a workout. It helps to cool down your muscles, keeps them flexible, and works out the kinks and soreness that sometimes comes with an intense exercise program. While you may not feel the soreness immediately, and so think that the stretch is unnecessary, this soreness often shows up the next day. When your workout is over, do a quick cool down stretch to help keep some of that soreness away.

It Enhances Your Workout

If you want to get the most of your workout, you have to get those muscles ready. A stretching routine can give you a little bit more flexibility so that you can go deeper into each move. You want to squat lower or crunch higher? Stretch your muscles first so that your own body doesn’t get in the way.

Stretching should be a part of every workout, and truthfully, should be a part of every day even if you’re not exercising. Find a routine on the internet, ask a friend, or get with a professional to find a good stretching routine for your body and your long-term health.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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