How Long Should You Stretch (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 60 Seconds Per Excercise

Stretching as assumed, is not only for people who are into sports or gymming. It has many benefits for people of any age. Whether it is a child or an adult, stretching can help people to stay in good health. It is known to help to loosen the muscle before a workout so that they do not sprain.

The main benefit that one can get from stretching is flexibility as far as mobility of muscles is concerned. When stretching is done before any sport or any rigorous activity, it will help in increasing flexibility and help avoid muscles strain. However, it is imminent to know how long a person should stretch to make the stretch effective.

How Long Should You Stretch

How Long Should You Stretch?

Exercises like stretching are done with a specific purpose, and hence it becomes necessary to perform stretching for an adequate amount of time. It will also help a person to maintain a proper blood flow in the body while improving the body’s posture.

The average period for which stretching is to be done is for 60 seconds so that all the muscles and joints are aptly stretched. The reason behind the 60 seconds is that if a person does stretching for about 60 seconds daily, it overall improves the range of motions in the body. 

When the range of motions increases, the body becomes more active, and also there is a steady decrease in joint pain and sprains. Plus, it will help a person to do everyday activities with comparatively less effort. 60 seconds of stretching is an ideal time for a person with a standard BMI. The time can increase if a person has more stamina or needs more flexibility.

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However, if the time for stretching exceeds beyond the person’s capacity, it can also lead to discomfort and sprain. Practitioners suggest starting with a low range that is about 15 seconds, and then it can be increased to even 60 seconds.

If the stretch time is for 15 seconds, it can be repeated thrice or four times. Likewise, if the stretch time is 20 seconds, two to three repetitions are good.

Stretching SessionThe time to be invested
Per Stretch20 to 60 seconds
Complete session20 to 30 minutes

Why Should You Stretch For So Long?

Stretching is one form of exercise that gives an overall benefit to the body. From improving the blood flow to maintaining mental health, stretching helps. However, it is necessary to keep. consistency in the stretching regime daily. There are several reasons why a person needs to stretch for a specific period. The reasons are as follows:

  • The primary reason why stretching is to be done so long is the results that come with it. The human body needs time to accept the exercise that is being done. Once a specific routine is set, the body starts working in that harmony, and then the improvements are visible enough.
  • Although people new to stretching start with a lower time range, it is necessary to increase the time range so that the results are noticeable. The minimum time range will also bring results, but that would be slow. It will also not be that noticeable. The longer the time range, the more the effects.
  • If the stretching is done in excess or more than the body could endure, it could cause pain while coming back from the position. Holding a single position for a long time can cause the person to shift a bit, and a little shift done wrong can create problems like sprain or muscle strain.
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Conclusion

Knowing how long to stretch will help the person to set workout goals accordingly. However, it is also imminent to know when to stretch. Even if the person knows how long to stretch but does not know when to stretch will not yield great results.

It is recommended to do a stretch routine when the body is warm. Stretching can be done after a warmup session or even after a workout session. It helps to ease the muscles. The muscles tend to be more open and relaxed during the night. Hence, it is ideal to do stretching in the evening or at night. It will give a better outcome than stretching in the morning.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913847.1981.11711207
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0003999394906750