Do you work out at home? Do you at least stretch? Two years ago, I thought that I had twisted my knee. I was in severe pain couldn’t bend it and really couldn’t even walk. It turns out that I had a very tight iliotibial tract or IT band.

If you don’t know, the IT band is a multipurpose tendon that runs down the length of your outer thigh, from the top of the pelvis to the shin bone or tibia. It connects a hip flexor muscle and the gluteus maximus (the largest butt muscle) to the outside of the tibia. The IT band is responsible for keeping your hips and knees stable, particularly during rapid, explosive moves like running and jumping. I had to do a lot of extensive stretching to get my IT band back in shape. Now I stretch every single day.

If you are like I was, you may have a tough time figuring out what workout is best for you. It’s a problem many people have. With busy schedules and limited time, you may not know what options will help. One thing you can do is stretching at home. If you aren’t sure how this would benefit your health or health goals, consider these important key points about stretching at home.

Increased Flexibility

One of the key benefits of stretching at home is to increase your flexibility. This is vital if you are doing other workouts or fitness plans. For example, if you are working towards a 5k as a goal then the increased flexibility will help with your running. It can help increase your strides and you may find that it helps your muscles feel more energized and less stiff. This benefit also helps with yoga and other health and fitness aspects.

Reduced Injuries

Stretching at home is important for reducing injuries as well. If your muscles are tight and not used to flexing then you may have issues of them locking up or being in pain during workouts. This can lead to strains and pulls or even tears in your muscles. The stretching, especially on a routine, can help you reduce these injuries and keep things running smoothly. This is an ideal important benefit for yoga practitioners or runners.

Increased Preparedness

If you plan on doing short workouts during your day then you may want to keep this in mind. Stretching at home can help you take those workouts during your work day a little easier. For example, you will prepare your muscles for lunchtime walks, runs, or stair climbing. Though you should be stretching before you do the workouts as well, you may not be able to get a full stretch in. This means you will have the full stretch and increased preparedness for the workout ahead.

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation is a huge issue for most people who are starting a workout plan or getting ready to workout. If you want to reduce inflammation changes then you want to stretch at home. Stretching works the muscles and helps reduce the chance of swelling and inflammation due to tight muscles and related issues. It also increases circulation which helps with reducing inflammation as well.

By keeping these points in mind you can make a stretching routine work for you throughout your day and help with any workouts you may add into your day.  Keep in mind that you can add more stretches, change the stretching into yoga workouts, or work your stretching around the benefits it offers.

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