When you allot time for a workout amidst your busy day, you’re likely setting aside just the amount of time you need – no more, no less. This is great for in-between-meetings efficiency, but it’s not nearly as ideal for the commonly-underestimated practice of stretching.

 If you can’t bring yourself to tack a pre- or post- workout stretch onto your routine, let us reason with you and share painless (literally) ways to make getting limber a priority in your day.

First of all, why is stretching so important anyway? 

Before we wax poetic on how to stretch more, it’s necessary to establish why you should even bother doing it in the first place. 

Stretching comes with a whole host of benefits, including:

  • Increased mobility
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Greater flexibility    
  • More blood flow to muscles
  • Overall stronger performance in physical activity and daily activities

These effects aren’t just temporary either. Maintaining a regular stretching routine can help you keep these up in the long term, too.  

Not sold yet? Let’s look at just how easy it can be to incorporate into your daily routine.

When to stretch when you don’t want to stretch

Obviously, if you can tack on 5 extra minutes before or after a workout, that’s a great time to stretch. But, that isn’t always feasible. Here are some other times during your day that you can squeeze in a stretch session:

  • First thing in the morning: Rise, shine, and stretch. Before you even have a chance to think too much, energize your body with some light stretches (you can even do them from bed). Stretching for the day, ✅
  • As a productive work break: You need to take a break at some point, right? In fact, sitting at a desk all day is even more of a reason to stretch. Pencil these easy desk stretches right into your calendar and come back to your work feeling loose and ready to focus.
  • While you wait: The everlasting final minute of the dryer, chicken baking in the oven, your roommate hogging the bathroom – whatever you’re waiting for, wait with a stretch. 
  • During built-in stretches in a class: Be honest, do you shut the computer early or hop off the bike before the stretching portion of a class? The instructor has taken all of the guesswork out of stretching for you – take advantage of that! Challenge yourself to stay. It’s only a few minutes, after all.   
  • During commercials: Cord-cutters, skip this one. But, if you’re still tuning into TV with commercials, use a few of those breaks as your cue to stretch your tired muscles.
  • Before bed: What better way to unwind after a long day than with a slow, simple stretch. Again, you’re welcome to do these in bed before popping on a meditation or a sleep story. 
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Make stretching something you get to do vs. something you have to do

If you approached stretching with the same enthusiasm as you approach workouts with, just think how much more efficiently you could move.

Take pockets of time that are already built into your day, and use them to do something you can feel really good about. You don’t have to stretch for a long time, and you don’t have to stretch every day, but finding an ideal stretching cadence within your week will help you be – and stay – a well-oiled mobility machine.

Next time you find yourself thinking “it’s okay, I can just skip the stretch,” give it a second thought. A few more minutes for lasting mobility and less injury? Sounds like a good deal to us.

Inspired to sweat (after a good stretch session, of course)? Join Gympass today and find everything you need to move your way.