As you age, stretching continues to be important, even if you're less active. Your joints become less flexible over time. Inflexibility puts a crimp in daily acts, making it harder to walk, raise your arms overhead, or turn your head while backing up the car. It undermines balance, too, which can cause life-altering falls.
As with all types of exercise, you need to engage in stretching regularly in order to reap lasting benefits. If you only stretch occasionally, the effects are shortlived. One study found that the greatest increase in hamstring length occurred right after the stretch and began to diminish within 15 seconds, though there was a noticeable effect for up to 24 hours. A daily regimen will deliver the greatest gains, but typically, you can expect lasting improvement in flexibility if you stretch at least two or three times a week.
Yet another huge benefit that comes along with stretching on a regular basis is that it can actually help you increase your overall energy levels.
First of all, stretching helps to increase the circulation of blood throughout your body and that counts for your brain too. Having more blood flowing to your brain means that you are more alert and also that your brain has the ability to produce an increased amount of beneficial neurochemicals, both things which go a long way in making you feel more energetic.
Furthermore, when you feel tired it causes your muscles to tighten and it makes you feel lethargic, the same is actually true in the opposite direction, sore and stiff muscles make you feel tired. When you feel tired you can get up and do a few stretches to get the blood flowing and to loosen up your muscles, thus giving you a quick energy boost. If you feel tired all of the time, doing some regular stretching may just be the solution that you need.
Stretching is also a fantastic thing to do because it can help to reduce muscle pain. Muscle pain can be caused due to working out too hard and lifting too much weight, something that has to do with those micro tears we mentioned before.
Muscle soreness and fatigue is in part caused by those suffering from too many micro tears, or in other words, you did curls with the 75-pound dumbbells when you should have been using the 50 pounders. Anyway, the decreased recovery time that you have to go through thanks to increased blood circulation also goes a long way in reducing the pain suffered from way too strenuous workouts.
Ask your trainer for stretching or yoga sessions.