Why Stretching Has More Benefits Than You Think

Sondra Owings-Priest, Student Reporter

Feeling sore after a workout? This might be because stretching after wasn’t added to the exercise and the body wasn’t given a chance to cool down. Stretching should be done every day and is a must for the daily agenda, even if there isn’t much written down on said agenda. Stretching helps with joint mobility, so people can do even more next time they go to the gym, run, or play a sport. Along with that, stretching improves overall performance in physical activities. Athletes must take stretching very seriously, for it decreases your risk of injuries. I try to stretch every day, and this is why recommend it to everyone else.

Each joint has a different range of motion. Different stretches will help with different joints. The feeling of tiredness or soreness after a workout may make someone want to just rest and lay in bed. However, doing the opposite, and getting a good stretch in can actually save a person from a lot of joint pain in the future. Stretching can even make the muscles stronger; who needs weights, am I right? Here are some stretches that can be done for various muscles and parts of the body:

  1. Laying on your back and pulling your knee to your chest while keeping the other leg straight and flat on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and then slowly release and switch legs. Repeat 2-3 times. This stretch helps relieves tension from the back of your legs and increases lower back flexibility.
  2. While standing, slowly bring one arm across your chest while the other arm is holds the first arm in place at the elbow. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly release. Then, switch to the other arm and repeat 2-3 times. This stretch helps your upper arms and shoulders.
  3. Place one hand on your hip and the other above your head. Keep your legs shoulder width apart and then lean towards the side where your arm is resting on your hip. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side, repeating 2-3 times. This helps to open up your rib cage, and back flexibility, and stretch the back of your legs.

Adding stretching to an everyday exercise routine is nothing to regret. There are no negative effects to stretching, but there can be if when we decide not to. My personal opinion on stretching is a 10/10 and I definitely recommend giving it a try.