Have you ever taken a workout class, been on a sports team, or even enjoy a casual jog every now and then? Well, the incorporation of physical movement and exercise is extremely important.
The concept of exercise is constantly reiterated in media through celebrities, athletes, and motivational health and wellness speakers. And while physical activity is extremely important, and possibly even a tactic to up your “man card”, there is another aspect of exercise that is dual, if not more, important than your cardio or lifting routine. That aspect is stretching.
Stretching is often overlooked by athletes and other men who exercise on the regular. Some men view stretching as feminine and unnecessary.
Sports like ballet and gymnastics, where the effects of stretching are clearly interlaced with the sport can cause some men to feel as if stretching itself will somehow strip them of their manliness. However, stretching is just as important as actually exercising, as a lack of stretching can result in physical harm and a worsened athletic performance in general.
Many sports teams in high school, for example, have training days specifically designated to stretching. Often times, players may choose to skip those days because they don’t feel as if stretching is important. However, the same players that tend to skip those stretching sessions are the same ones who typically pull a hamstring in the first ten minutes of their playing time during a game.
Along with injury prevention, stretching makes your muscles more limber and will even help with soreness and recovery time as well.