February 2024

8 Benefits of Stretching: Why You Should Try a Stretching Class

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8 Benefits of Stretching: Why You Should Try a Stretching Class

While many people focus on cardio and strength training as part of their regular exercise routine, stretching is often overlooked. Not at Jazzercise! Stretching is included at the end of all of our class formats. We also offer a Stretch class designed to stretch those muscles, increase flexibility, and relieve soreness.

Emily Newlands, Jazzercise FitPro shares why she finds stretching an integral part of her workouts, “For me, stretching is as beneficial for my mind as it is for my body. Taking the time to breathe through the movements at the end of class allows me to walk out of the studio prouder, calmer, and more confident than when I walked in.”

There are many benefits of stretching, including improved circulation, the release of endorphins, increased flexibility and range of motion, enhanced muscle recovery, improved posture and alignment, stress relief and relaxation, and injury prevention.

Stretching is an important part of a complete fitness routine. Whether you want to start stretching at home, join a group fitness class that includes stretching elements, or take our dedicated Stretch class, if you want to feel your best, we suggest incorporating stretching into your weekly routine.

Not sure what kind of stretching to do? Our certified fitness instructors are here to help! Just ask one of them before or after your next Jazzercise class. 

1. Improved Circulation

Improved circulatory health is one of the many stretching benefits you’ll feel when you start your new routine. Responsible for carrying blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body, your circulatory system is very important. To feel your best, be sure to take care of it!

We know the benefits, but how does stretching improve circulation? Researchers believe that stretching boosts blood flow by causing muscles to press down on arteries. This causes a chemical release that allows the arteries to expand and helps blood to flow more freely throughout the body. 

A healthy circulatory system can reduce your risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes. These severe health conditions are associated with poor blood flow. A daily stretching program will help keep your heart pumping and your blood flowing. A healthier heart is a happier you!

2. Release of Endorphins

If you’ve ever experienced a sense of well-being after stretching, you can thank your routine for the release of endorphins. But how does stretching release endorphins? Endorphins are the chemicals in our brains that are released during feel-good activities such as exercise, and eating. 

Not only can endorphins help relieve physical pain, but they can also reduce mental stress. So on top of stretching being beneficial to our physical well-being, it also does wonders for our mental health. Add stretching to your daily routine to get those well-deserved feelings of happiness.

3. Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion

Increased flexibility and range of motion is another awesome benefit of stretching daily. When we talk about increased flexibility, we don’t necessarily mean that you’ll suddenly be able to do the splits. When we say greater flexibility and range of motion, we mean that a regular stretching routine will make it easier for you to do your daily activities safely.

This is especially important as we grow older, as our abilities naturally diminish with age. That’s why it is important to understand why and how to incorporate stretching into your routine now. Regardless, it’s never too late to take advantage of the importance of stretching!

4. Enhanced Muscle Recovery

It’s easy to skip stretching before or after your workout, especially if you’re short on time, but put on some good music and stay the course! Stretching will only help you get the full benefits of your workout. 

One of the many stretching benefits is improved blood flow, which will help your muscles rest and recover. When your muscles are given the chance to properly recover, it’s less likely that you’ll feel sore after your workout. You may also be less likely to become injured and more likely to get right back out there the next day. 

If you really want to prioritize muscle recovery, move your joints and muscles through a wide range of movements, including arm circles and leg swings. These types of exercises will get your heart rate up and get your body ready for your workout.

The dynamic movements incorporated into every Jazzercise warmup are designed to prep your body properly for what's to come. Running a little late? Start with low-impact movements for a minute or two to give your joints a chance to catch up with the pace of class

At the end of your workout, an active cool-down is helpful to lower your heart rate and keep blood and waste products from collecting in certain areas of the body. After cooling down, it is time to perform stretches, holding each position for 10 to 60 seconds.

Here at Jazzercise, we understand the importance of stretching to increase muscle recovery. That’s why every class starts and ends with a stretch portion to bring your heart rate down and help your body begin to recover from the fun dance party you just had!

5. Improved Posture and Alignment

Another benefit of stretching daily is that it will do wonders for your posture! Often poor body alignment and posture are caused by muscle imbalances. Proper stretching can help to correct those imbalances.

With your new and improved posture, you’ll also probably notice minimized aches and pains, including back and neck pain from sitting at a computer all day. Of course, if you feel as though something is seriously wrong, talk to your doctor to see if you might benefit from physical therapy in addition to your new workout routine.

6. Stress Relief and Relaxation

Have you ever noticed how certain muscles tend to tighten during times of stress? It’s a natural reaction, but stretching is great for relieving that stress! When you stretch, your tight muscles will loosen up, helping your body and mind to relax. And remember those endorphins we mentioned earlier? These will also help come into play and help lighten your mental load. 

7.  Injury Prevention

The benefits of stretching may also extend to injury prevention. By stretching your muscles and allowing them to recover, you’re encouraging them to grow long, lean, and flexible. When your muscles are inflexible or stiff, you have a higher chance of injury – whether through a workout or a daily activity. 

8. Incorporating Stretching into Daily Routine

If you want to stretch but aren’t sure how to get started with a daily stretching routine, come join us for our restorative Stretch class! We’ll teach you a series of valuable stretching exercises while having fun at the same time! 

“A common misconception is that stretching is just for flexible people or dancers, and it’s just not true! Even the tiniest range of motion can have major benefits for your muscles and your mind, especially at the end of a tough class.” Jazzercise FitPro Emily Newlands notes.

Beyond our Stretch class, all of our dance cardio classes include segments of dynamic and static stretching movements. So no matter which class you choose, you will always experience the amazing benefits of stretching. At Jazzercise, we’re all about making workouts fun, accessible, and easy. Because when you love your workout, you’ll love to work out. Ready to join us? Learn more at https://www.jazzercise.com/.

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Alex G
Super great!
3/1/2024 5:01:38 AM

Connie J New
I love our stretch class on Tuesday’s after the 9:40 with Kathy. Give’s me more flexibility and a nice cool down before I go to work. And… another class 🩷
2/26/2024 10:54:19 PM

Jodi Riley
If stretching is so valuable--and I agree it is--why is there so little stretching at the end of Jazzercise classes? I've been doing Jazzercise for 13 years and we generally end our classes with a half-song (maybe 2 minutes) of stretching. Occasionally an instructor will stretch for a full song--love that!--but never more.
Maybe more new routines with more time spent stretching?
2/26/2024 9:00:12 PM

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