Why is it important? Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Stretching before exercise is really important because it helps to warm up the muscles you are about to work on, preventing injury. Stretching after a workout is equally important as it will reduce muscle soreness as well as help to get your muscles back to their original length.
When should you stretch? It is good to stretch in the morning when the body is still warm from sleeping. However any time of day is good for stretching as long as you ease yourself in. It is also good to stretch before/after exercise.
How often and how long should you stretch for? You should hold each stretch at least 30 seconds, a minute if possible. If you could stretch every day that would be amazing but a few times a week is a real benefit.
What will happen if you don't stretch? You will increase the risk of injury jumping into a workout without any type of stretching. Not stretching will also increase tightness in the body allowing muscles to pull on joints, causing pain. It doesn't take long to stretch and prevention is always better than cure.
Please find below the links to a couple of our stretching videos - if you do both together it is a nice 15 mins stretch routine.