For a lot of us stretching just isn't a priority. And, I get that. If you're a gym person then you probably want to get in, get sweaty and get out. If you take fitness classes then you may have noticed that a lot of instructors skip stretching all together. (Some don't believe it's necessary, some expect that you'll do it on your own).
In the fitness community stretching has become somewhat of a controversial subject. When I was studying for my Personal Training & Sports Medicine certification I realized that opinions of Fitness Experts are all over the board. So, I've made an effort to study and research the whole stretching she-bang for the past few years.
Here's what I've learned - stretching is key - especially for those of us who spend a good portion of the day sitting. However, old school stretching before exercise is not of paramount importance and doesn't necessarily improve athletic importance.
Personally I love my weekly yoga class as a way to work in stretching. But I'm an intermittent yogi and when I can't get to class I have to make an effort to carve out stretch time; Or, I feel it. I recently realized the hard way just how bad my body needs that stretch (and I'm not even a "desk worker" most days!) when I woke up feeling like a 90 year-old lady lacking full range of motion in my neck and complaining of creaky joints after a week without stretch time.
If you aren't a regular stretcher I urge you to add even just 5-10 minutes into your routine two or three times a week. Do it first thing in the am pre-shower, as a mid-workday break or right before bed - just get it in and your bod will thank you.
Click through for 6 reasons you need to stretch.