Stretching is extremely important before competing in an athletic event, whether than be running, swimming, football, basketball, etc. Many people lose the importance of stretching when they aren’t competing in athletic events regularly. Stretching is important because it increases muscle flexibility and helps a person avoid injury.
Regular stretching keeps muscles healthy and flexible. A lack of stretching tightens muscles, which could lead to easy injury. It takes much less exertion of the muscle to result in an injury when muscles are tight. Stretching ensures that muscles are more prepared for impact and flex rather than bend or tear when they are used.
Many injuries, particularly hamstring injuries, are a result of poor stretching. Taking five minutes to stretch could ultimately save you from an injury that will keep you off your feet for 5 months.
Daily stretching may seem like a hassle, but it’s not necessary to stretch every muscle every day. “The areas critical for mobility are in your lower extremities: your calves, your hamstrings, your hip flexors in the pelvis and quadriceps in the front of the thigh,” says David Nolan, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. The muscles we use daily should be stretched daily, but muscles, such as the tricep, don’t need to be stretched as often.
Stretching once won’t result in much. A pattern of stretching needs to be developed in order for stretching to be effective. As you develop this pattern, you will see much more flexibility in your muscles.
“Staying Healthy.” The Harvard Medical School Health Letter Book (2013): 1-74. Web. 6 Apr. 2017. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching>.