Most people think stretching is the same thing as warming up and who has time for that anyway? The point of exercising is to get out there and give it all you've got, right?
Not so fast. Although studies about the benefits of stretching are mixed, stretching may help you improve your flexibility, which in turn may improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. Understand why stretching can help and how to stretch correctly.
Benefits of stretching
Studies about the benefits of stretching have had mixed results. Some show that stretching helps, while others show that stretching has little if any benefit. The main benefits of stretching are thought to be:
- Improving athletic performance
- Decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries
Stretching can help improve flexibility. And better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. For instance, say your Achilles tendon is tight and lacks flexibility. If you do a lot of hill walking, your foot may not move through …
Photo: tobyotter on Flickr
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