5 Reasons Stretching Is Essential


- By Donna Flagg, Founder & Creator of Lastics

Flexibility has a major impact on overall fitness, but for many people, stretching is often the last thing on their exercise radar, if it’s part of the routine at all. What I have found, after teaching thousands of stretch classes, is that people often de-prioritize stretching. They think there is no point in going through the motions, because, well, they feel as though they are just going through the motions without achieving the kind of results they see when they do other types of workouts. They assume they were born inflexible or have “lost it.” In fact, though, that is not the case at all. What is more typically true is that most folks never actually learned how to stretch properly and that’s why their flexibility does not improve – or declines.

Just as we learn about the importance of form in weightlifting or running (or any other type of exercise), putting some technique behind how you stretch can – and does – change everything. Typically, you’ll hear about the benefits of stretching as they focus on injury prevention and range of motion. But we have 5 more reasons why stretching is an essential part of every fitness
strategy whether you're a yogi, runner, dancer, boxer, gym rat, or you like to do it all!

  1. Freedom – There’s nothing quite like feeling good in your body. Being tight is horrible. Not only does it hurt, but it also limits your ability to move freely, which takes the fun out of doing the things you love to do most. A good stretch can fix that!
  2. Anti-aging – Not only do muscles get flabby and weak with age if they do not get enough exercise, but they also become tighter and tighter over time. The good news is that the stiffening effects of time can be avoided as long as you continue to stretch. And more good news…you can also improve your flexibility at any age.  
  3. Balance – The healthiest bodies have a balance of stretch and strength. It is a vital yin-yang relationship. And, it’s this balance that I believe has the most significant impact on injury prevention. It’s not so much about having a tight or weak muscle that “breaks” but rather, it’s about the positive relationship between a strong and flexible muscle that protects you from injury and supports the overall fitness of your body as a whole.
  4. Better Sex – If you do it right, stretching can add a whole host of fringe benefits to your sex life, because stretching properly is all about how you move, and control, your pelvis. Consider your pelvis Command Central. The rest of your body takes its queues from there.
  5. Mood Booster – Tight muscles can bear down on you and cause stress. That stress can affect you emotionally and physically too. When you stretch, you release, and in that release, you connect to your body, clear your mind and purge negative energy. It’s such a relaxing, feel-good thing to do!

Ready to stretch? Reserve a Lastics class on FitReserve today!

About the Author

Donna Flagg is the Founder and Creator of Lastics, a stretching technique born from the world of dance that was designed to improve flexibility based on the techniques that dancers use to stay lean and limber.

After spending her childhood dancing, Donna Flagg went on to study at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, and graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Dance. Influenced by her training in classical ballet, jazz, modern and musical theater, Donna created Lastics and her stretch classes have been taught at Joffrey Ballet School in New York, Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago, New Jersey Dance Center and The New York Health and Racquet Club. In addition, Donna is a featured guest every year at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in San Diego, California.

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