Stretching for teens, why's it so important?
A balanced exercise routine is important for growing bodies. We know it's vitally important for our children and teens to warm up before playing any form of sport, but did you know stretching doesn't just make their bodies feel good. It also minimises the chances of injury to muscle.
10 minutes prior to any form of physical activity, it is important to 'warm up'. 5 -10 minutes of walking, light jogging, throwing, basically a slower form of the activity your teen is about to engage with prepares the body for exercise.
Warming up increases heart, and respiratory rate, increases muscle temperature and boosts blood delivery and oxygen to the muscles.
So where does stretching come into it all?
Years ago, stretching was considered the main form of warming up prior to exercise, however, we've learnt that it may also lead to decreased muscle strength and performance, especially if your muscles are not warmed up enough.
Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury.
To get the most out of warming up and stretching, try dynamic stretches before and static stretching after a workout.
Dynamic stretching uses many muscle groups in a sport-specific manner and can be part of your warm-up. Besides warming up the muscles that will be used in the activity, dynamic stretching allows for the full range of motion of the joints.
Stretching properly may reduce muscle injuries and improve athletic performance. It also increases:
- joint range and motion
- blood flow to muscles
Here are our best tips on how to stretch correctly:
- Stop if it hurts: stretching shouldn't hurt you, and if it does, pull back into a more comfortable position
- Hold each stretch for 10–30 seconds.
- Stretch both sides
- Stretch regularly to maintain flexibility
- Wear flexible, comfortable clothes such as our Ada tights
Remember: A balanced exercise routine is important for your teen's physical and mental health💪🏼