The Importance of Stretch Training
The celebrity fitness coach Kollins Ezekh said, “When you stretch, you’re improving blood flow in the body and, in turn, circulating more nutrients throughout the body,”. Moreover, “stretching also improves your mental state, as it reduces stress and releases tension. It’s a great way to give yourself a mental break, to recharge and calm the mind, especially during this [COVID-19] pandemic”.
Improving flexibility can produce a wide range of physical benefits and can have a positive effect on physical and mental well-being.
Risks of Physical Inactivity
Regardless of the selected type of training, regular exercise has been demonstrated to have wide-range health benefits. There is evidence to indicate that a sedentary lifestyle could be an even more solid predictor of mortality than risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, and diabetes. Numerous epidemiological studies suggest that, despite their risk profile, body habitus, or cardiovascular disease, unhealthy individuals are two to three times more likely to die during follow-up than their more healthy counterparts.
However, physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor, and prescribing adequate exercise can increase all individuals’ health and lifestyles. Mobility and stretching exercises are essential for maintaining functional potential. Especially among older adults, mobility and stretch training are vital indicators to reduce the risk of falls. The goal is to keep an adequate range of motion at the; shoulders, hips, and thoracic spine. Functional movement activities, such as yoga, Pilates, and tai chi, are generally the suggested methods to improve flexibility, balance, and mobility.
Muscular Imbalance Leads to Further Injuries
Gaining flexibility and strength can help withstand more physical stress, such as maintaining exercise at a greater intensity. In addition, muscular balance can be improved from both strengthening and stretching techniques.
With the assistant of stretching, muscular flexibility improves and, as a result, enhances posture control. Flexibility training works on different body parts, allowing proper alignment and correcting any muscular imbalances.
Every pain is individualized, but many studies showed that stretching can reduce low back pain. A systemic review shows that if you stretch hip flexors, hamstrings, erector spinae, and latissimus dorsi muscles in the back, it will help ease low back pain due to the effect of reducing the stiffness and the tension within the muscles.
Range of Motion
Increased flexibility throughout the body allows the joint to move smoothly and in the right sequence during functional movements. Coupled with proper muscle activation and control, it can help reduce the risk of injury by decreasing excessive stressors. When strength gained, it also helps improve sports performance – for example, greater flexibility will allow a golfer to achieve a larger backswing, and eventually, it can lead to a more powerful swing.
According to the ACSM, stretching is an integral component of fitness. It should be a part of any kind of workout program because of its potential positive effects on physical and mental health.