It seems that these days everyone is trying to get in shape (including me), whether it is working or not I am not sure. However, there seems to be one thing a very large group of people forget to do. Stretch. Stretching is so important for you because of many reasons.
For anyone that plays sports, or is trying to become a professional athlete, you cannot forget to stretch. Goalies, in hockey need to be able to twist and move their bodies in, almost every way imaginable to stop the puck. Basketball players need to be loose and ready to play a game that uses almost every muscle in the body. Professional fighters need to be extremely flexible. All those guys in the UFC using high kicks are incredibly flexible.
Although stretching is need to perform well in sports, stretching is needed to make sure you keep showing up. Evidence shows that stretching the muscles before physical activity (make sure you warm up before you stretch) will greatly decrease your chance of injury. Stretching will keep you out their, be it on a field, court, or mat, day in and day out. The more time you spend practicing and playing the better you will be.
Also, stretching helps you relax. The amount of stress related illnesses is ridiculous and people could definitely use something to help them calm down. Maybe stretching is exactly what they need.
Regardless of what you do, stretching is an incredibly important thing to consider. Stretching can help you with your performance in sports, and will help keep you injury-free. Additionally, stretching is a great way to calm down and relieve tension and stress.