Find out how stretching can help increase your overall flexibility, improve your posture, manage pain and help you stay balanced.
If you’re trying to improve your overall fitness, you might be tempted to spend most of your exercise time doing some type of cardio, such as walking or swimming. Aerobic exercise is an important part of staying healthy, but you might want to take a more balanced approach to fitness, one that includes strength-training exercises and stretching. Stretching doesn’t count toward meeting the aerobic or muscle-strengthening guidelines, but it’s relaxing, doesn’t require any fancy equipment and can be done anywhere—even waiting in line at the grocery store.
Plus, done right, stretching may provide real benefits. So don’t throw in the towel at the gym before reaching for your toes—the benefits of just 5 to 10 minutes of stretching before and after your workout are too good to be ignored.