I workout on a regular basis but find it irrationally difficult to do a decent, if not minimally acceptable, amount of stretching. Why is it so hard to muster up the self-discipline to do it on your own?
My conscience screams at me in the evenings, post-workout, to get off the sofa and spend even just 20 minutes stretching all those muscles I've just used. In reality I rarely do it. What are my excuses, you might ask? Mostly, I feel too tired and lazy and would rather just flop into bed than get my yoga mat out!
However, without going into a lot of scientific detail, the benefits I personally get from stretching are crystal clear:
- stretching before bed induces a relaxed state for the body and mind
- quality of sleep improves
- muscles recover faster and actually get stronger
- increased suppleness in general and better performance in my next workout
From experience, I've noticed that in almost every single gym I've ever been inside, the stretching area is so tiny and more often than not just shoved in some skanky corner of the gym!. It's a complete joke. If you want to go there to do some dynamic warm-up stretching before a fitness class or a workout it's usually jam-packed and you'll struggle to squeeze yourself in there. The same applies after the session.
I just don't get it, because I think the general understanding among all people who keep fit is that stretching is a crucial part of your routine, yet the gyms don't offer regular stretching classes, very few instructors advocate stretching. You'd think it'd be in their interest to do so, as it would minimise the number of people getting injured as a result of pulling muscles etc.
I know that I would benefit from a stretching class environment and I bet I'm not the only one!
Can you be bothered stretching?
Is there a good-sized space where you can stretch in your gym?
Do you go to stretching classes? If so, how often?
Why do you think we neglect this crucial part of our routines?
Let me know what you think guys :)