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Another Reason to Stretch: It Makes You Stronger

I have been preaching the merits of stretching for years, and now I have another reason to add to my familiar sermon. A recent study showed that it might actually make people stronger and increase their endurance.

It is believed that stretching works muscles in a similar fashion as strength training, but on a much smaller scale. Researchers suspect that stretching stimulates cells in the same way as other forms of exercise. Stretching is more than just increasing the range of motion, but it will never take the place of strength training or cardio. It is, however, quite complementary and should be included in any fitness program.

While study participants stretched for 40 minutes, three times a week, the researchers believe that it is unlikely for most people to dedicate that amount of time to stretching. If you don't have an extra two hours a week to dedicate to stretching, then you should aim to at least stretch all your major muscles a few times a week.

Looking for some good stretches? Check out the Stretch It series. You will surely find a suitable stretch for your major muscle groups.

Join The Conversation
mediarosa mediarosa 9 years
Great observations - stretching is just so basic and so good for you...
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
oops sorry commented the wrong article :-S my comment was meant for the 'embryo pose' post... that pic looks really weird, like half of her legs are gone.
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
i don't get it... where are her feet?
suheilly13 suheilly13 9 years
I work in an office, so I try to get up ans stretch all my muscles ever hour or so. It helps relieve stress.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
I always try to stretch when I wake up and before I go to bed, and of course before working out. It helps me sleep easier and feel loose in the morning.
sugarfan sugarfan 9 years
I love to stretch. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my runs is knowing I will stretch afterward. It just feels SO good!
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Stretching is the one type of exercise I can't live without. I can easily skip cardio or weight training but I always find time to stretch.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Stretching is a must!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I've JUST started streaching and it feel wonderful!!! Usually when I'm sitting in front of the TV I get up and strech a little on the floor and it really does make me feel A LOT betetr!!! :D
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