Our muscles do so much for us: they allow us to walk around and carry things. One way to help maintain our muscle health is to stretch.
How often should we stretch?
Start small and slowly increase how often you stretch as your body adjusts and never stretch to the point where you feel pain.
Before and after exercising, you should aim to stretch for around 5-10 minutes to avoid injuring your muscles.
Why should we stretch?
Stretching regularly can increase the blood flow around our bodies and to our muscles, reducing muscle soreness and improving recovery time.
Flexibility isn’t just important for dancers and acrobats. We can all benefit from improving our flexibility as it can help with simple daily tasks like bending over to pick something up, walking up stairs and getting something from a high shelf.
Stress often causes tension in our muscles which can lead to pain and tightness, which stretching can release.
As stretching increases your flexibility and range of motion, it reduces the risk of developing other muscle injuries, such as back pain.
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Lindberg, S. 2018. Stretching: 9 benefits, plus safety tips and how to start. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-stretching