I know that I sound like a broken record when I talk about the importance of stretching. There are so many benefits to stretching but many don't take the time to incorporate stretching in their daily routines. Your muscles work hard for you on a daily basis...it is up to you to give them some relief for their hard work. When you stretch it should be relaxed and sustained with your attention on each muscle that is being stretched. When you stretch regularly, you will soon see the benefits it has-with every movement becoming easier. You will also get an opportunity to see the increase in strength in your workouts, and most importantly a pain-free body-NO INJURIES.
The first point (VERY IMPORTANT) is- Don't focus on flexibility. Just stretch regularly/consistently and flexibility will come with time. Think of it as introducing your body to another form of exercise that is going to help you with your performance and help you achieve all your fitness goals. Be patient...remember, if you haven't stretched on a regular basis your body is not use to it, and you feel like you will never improve.
Next, be aware that we are different every day. Some days we are tighter, other days we are looser. Don't get discouraged if one day you touched your toes and the next day you didn't. Think of stretching as a challenge and beat that challenge. We all like challenges and like to be challenged...be versatile in your fitness world. Strong, fast, flexible.
WATER! WATER! WATER! Our body is mostly made up of water so we need it to survive each and every day. One interesting finding is that your muscles stretch more easily when your body is properly hydrated.
Remember: stretching will always make you feel good. Your allowing your muscles to be free and flexible. Plus, your giving something back to the muscles that continue to work hard for you each and every day. If you stretch, good for you and keep doing it. If you don't stretch, START TODAY...YOU WON'T BE SORRY!