The conclusions are mixed. Some studies say stretch...it's good for you. Other studies say the value of stretching can not be validated and often increases the risk of injury to athletes. Well, I am not an athlete, just a very busy 50+ mom and entrepreneur...and I say STRETCH! Every chance you get!
I raised three children, all of which played sports... football, baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, wrestling... between the three kids and all their sporting experiences, stretching was always at the forefront of pre-conditioning. Recent studies claim that the value of stretching has been overrated and often leads to additional injuries in athletes. My kids are all grown now and each continues an active lifestyle. I am thankful for their experiences in organized sports as I believe this set the stage for a non-sedentary lifestyle.
But this post is not about the value of stretching for athletes...it is about the value of stretching in us older, non-athletic types (like me). According to the Mayo Clinic, "Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of
motion in your joints. Better flexibility may improve your performance
in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your
joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your
muscles to work most effectively. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscles." (and at 50+...who couldn't use more blood flow to their muscles?)