How Stretching Effects Health & Performance

health benefits of stretching

The Benefits Of Stretching Frequently (How Important Is Stretching)


Okay, Okay so check this out; every time I wake up I stretch 10 MINUTES during the day. I’ll say it again; everyday after I wake up I stretch for 10 MINUTES. Not 10 secs, not 10 hours (wow…who stretches that long anyway. pfff*). Is that weird to you. Well stop and think very critically before you pass down your opinion. Now ask yourself “Is that weird or should I be stretching too”. Well as you read this post you’ll learn how stretching effects your health and performance. Stick around and find out what that’ll mean for you in the long run.



Well before I started doing this on a daily basis, I actually use to neglect this routine ESPECIALLY before a work-out. Now my brother was like “you should stretch before you workout”.



Now initially I chose not to listen…why? In my mind I thought “uh-huh…you’re just gonna bother me again right? Well I’ll do what I’ve done best…just NOT LISTEN & be on my way. It’s done wonders for me”.



Now in truth he really was trying to help, not bother me like when we were kids. And when I didn’t stretch before I worked out I went through MAJOR consequences.


So maybe you’re thinking “yeah siblings can be annoying”, but they can also give you some awesome tips that can & will help you. But I’m not gonna rant and rave about having a sibling. When I didn’t stretch BEFORE I started a work I experienced extreme muscle tightness and major cramps. A hard lesson I had to learn indeed; but once I started dancing I had no choice but to stretch or I was going to go through fire and brimstone if I chose not to.



So you might be thinking “yeah I need to stretch to but what are the benefits?” Well great question here are some of the benefits of stretching frequently…






1. Increase In Flexibility (The Importance Of Stretching)

If you want to be more flexible like Zac Ong (man in the photo), you…must…stretch



Although you won’t have the physiology of a rubber-man (no such thing by the way) stretching will help you to become more flexible over time. For example, have you ever wondered why martial artist and dancers (especially those who break-dance) appear to move the way they do so effortlessly? Do you think they just naturally have the high level of flexibility without stretching?



NO WAY!! Dancers, martial artists, and professional athletes have to stretch before they start any physical routine. For instance, break dancers (bboys) will stretch between 10-15 mins before they start practicing for either 2 or sometimes 8 hours in the studio.



Now you may say “Wow…well I don’t break-dance so I’m good” you’d do well to get into the habit of stretching frequently, especially if you want to start exercising. When you do any fitness routine whether it’s body-weight exercises, weight-lifting, dancing, sport etc., having a good measure of flexibility is important.



And you can only get that through stretching. Don’t worry about not touching the ground with your hands without bending your knees. Just start simple for about 5-10 mins. Your flexibility will increase over time and you’ll discover that this is a crucial way of how stretching effects your health & performance.




2. Increase Your Circulation (Health Benefits Of Stretching)

A good circulatory flow throughout the body starts with stretching frequently.


“Uh okay…why’s that important again”, well before you write off this fun fact a good circulation throughout your entire body is essential to your entire health. Good circulation is an indication of having good blood flow. When this happens red blood cells carry rich oxygen to not only the muscles but also the entire body.



Think about it; have you ever noticed whenever someone is experiencing a heart attack they experience shortness of breath? Or when someone is experiencing a blood clot in their lungs they get tire very easily?



This often times occurs because blood isn’t flowing properly to these vital organs. When you have a low blood flow in your body the oxygen that red blood cells normally carry isn’t as rich consequently making you feel like you’re out of breath all…the…time.



So when you stretch consistently not only will you feel great but you’ll also be increasing the amount of oxygen carried by those magnificent red blood cells to your entire body, resulting in feeling less tired and less out of energy.



No, no stretching won’t make you have inexhaustible energy, but you certainly will have more of it than you normally would all due to the fact that you didn’t neglect to stretch.



“Hmmmm…maybe I should stretch more.” Uhhh, you definitely need to stretch more. At least 5-10 mins a day which isn’t a lot considering how many hours we spend doing everything else.









3. Decreasing Muscle Tension (The Importance Of Stretching Before Exercising)

You wanna stop being so tense? Just stretch.

Imagine feeling this tight stiffness in your neck and back after you woke up. Or maybe you just feel tense all over after standing all day or even sitting for 8 hours. Perhaps you feel really stiff after doing a physically taxing job. Well we’ve all been there but are you aware that stretching can help will relieving how tense your muscles are?


If you’d like to feel less tense and more comfortable doing just basic and mundane check out what stretching do to make you feel like tense.


  •  Reduce muscle tension in your back
  • Reduce muscle tension in your neck (the worst tension)
  • Lessen stiffness in your arms & legs
  • Improves your posture
  • Decreased stress in your joints


Now although there are more ways that stretching can help decrease stress and tension to your muscles, these are some of the essential ways you’ll fell LESS tense and tight when you do this routine daily. Feeling like you need to start stretching more? I certainly hope so because this is a major way in how stretching effects your health & performance.



Check out a related post in the link







4. Encourages Muscle Growth

Stretching lengthens the muscles in turn encouraging muscle growth

Okay now don’t go thinking “hey if I just stretch for like 10 mins I’ll be as big as Batman right?” Uh no. You still need to exercise consistently and consume protein to build muscle. It also depends on the type of physical activity that your do.



A couple of examples are if you were to do calisthenics exercises or gymnastics, you must consistently exercise in order to build muscles. Thus stretching alone won’t build the muscles that you want, but you must also exercise. This is one of the important ways how stretching effects your health & performance.



But having said all of that, stretching does aid in muscle growth when done properly and consistently. For many people who believe that stretching doesn’t have any real impact on muscle growth according to an article “The Importance Of Stretching” published by Harvard Medical School if you neglect choose to neglect this pre-workout routine, your muscles will shorten and become tight and stiff.



When that happen due to you working out and not stretching at all your muscles become subject to damage, strain and tear. Not only will you experience muscle pain but you’ll have to go through joint pain as well which is something you probably would not look forward to.



Contrary to having shorten and tight muscles and potentially making you liable to go through muscle pain and muscle tear, when you do stretch on a daily basis your muscles will lengthen allowing them to become lean, long, flexible and help make muscle movement easier.



Think of it like this if you choose not to stretch at all and then start exercising, you’ll develop tight muscles that’ll eventually result in damage and tearing. But if you do choose to stretch either before or after you work-out your muscles will lengthen making it easier for you to build a lean muscular physique.








5. Increases Your Range Of Motion


Martial artists have some of the best range of motions due to stretching.


Do you look forward to experiencing joint pain? Sounds like an extreme question right? Well when you neglect to stretch your body one of the EXTREME consequences is a limit in your range of motion. Now if you’re thinking “Oh well it’s not that important right”.



Consider this, if you don’t stretch your muscles not only will they become stiff and tight and then tear your joints will also feel the pain as well. The result…a decrease in range of motion which will make it hard for you to move your body without your joints feeling any pain.



So when you have a good range of motion as a result of stretching effectively you’ll…

  • Help reduce to pain in your joints
  • Keep your joints flexible
  • Increase your strength and balance
  • Make it easier to move your joints in different directions will little discomfort



Although pretty small in detail these are on of the major ways stretching effects your health & performance. Hopefully after you read this post you’ll take stretching more seriously.







In Conclusion (Benefits Of Stretching Before Exercise)

“Wow I didn’t know stretching was so crucial. And with so many so many benefits too” you may be thinking. Now again you have to stretch consistently in order to experience just the basic benefits mentioned in this post. Don’t worry you don’t need to stretch every single muscle in the body. Just start with stretching your upper body and then your lower body. Try these stretches to start off…



Upper Body Stretches

  • Shoulder stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Triceps stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Bicep stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Forearm stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Side stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Neck stretches (15-25 secs each)





Lower Body Stretches

  • Quad stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Hamstring stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Calf stretches (15-25 secs each)
  • Hip Flexer stretches (15-25 secs each)



If you at least stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds or an average 25 seconds daily you’ll be glad that you did. You won’t experience the benefits in one night just like you didn’t develop tightness in your body in one night. Do this for at least 30 days and then you’ll just have a GREAT habit of stretching opening the door to many, many physical benefits.



Well that’s pretty much how stretching effects your health & performance. Share your thoughts in the comment section below about this post. I’ll try to read them all. I genuinely hope you got a lot out of this post.



Always remember to stay healthy and stay fit.