I never liked stretching. When I was going to do a workout I just jumped right into it. (usually, because I woke up late or was getting into a class right as it started). Stretching always seemed like this thing that I should be doing but, not something that I had to do.
Well, as I have grown older I have learned just how important stretching can be. Not to say you have to be a certain age to start stretching, but little things tend to turn into bigger things as you age.
Traditional stretching along with dynamic stretching will not only help you perform exercises better but it will also help to prevent injuries. Take this advice from someone who has learned this the hard way.
The Hard Way=
Almost 3 months ago I went for a run on an unseasonably warm February day. I ran for 3 miles and felt great! The next day was just as nice so I took full advantage and went for another run. (sidenote: I did not stretch or warm up for either of these runs) At mile 2 I felt a strange pulling in my right hip. I stopped and did a quick standing figure four glute stretch and went right back to running hoping the pain would subside. The pain did not subside in fact, it came on much stronger and eventually forced me to limp/jog back home.
I have since self-diagnosed myself with Bursitis of the hip. While the pain has definitely gotten better, it is still not fully healed. I blame my lack of stretching for causing it and my continued lack of stretching for it not being completely healed by now.
Even after this injury, I had avoided stretching each day and pretty soon found no real relief was coming. I now know that stretching and warming up the surrounding hip muscles is something I needed to do EVERY DAY in order to fully heal.
It is easier to stretch on a whim when it is convenient for you, but in order to feel the change, you have to commit to 10-15 minutes of stretching a day, and even complete a few yoga classes a week if possible. ( Youtube has tons of great Yoga videos and it is free!)
Over the past 2 weeks, I have taken the time to warm up my body before a workout and stretch for 15 minutes or longer after I am finished with the workout. I can already feel the injury getting better and it is helping me become more flexible. Not to mention listening to meditation music and stretching is kind of amazing and really relaxing.
Don’t skip stretching to save time, because the amount of time you will lose after an injury will be far worse.
If you have bursitis of the hip or have tight hips, in general, try out some of my fav stretching videos below: