I think stretching is underrated. I know in the last few years that yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, and it incorporates a lot of stretching and increases flexibility, but I like good old fashioned stretching.
Today I felt all day like my quads were tight like rubber bands. It wasn't making my knees hurt, but they almost felt like they had pressure on them, just from the tension in my quads. My legs almost felt heavy. I don't think I have been doing enough stretching. Sure I do my 5 minute cool down with Jillian at the end of her videos, but that's not really enough stretching. I usually try to do a little more than she does, or I just hold the stretches longer.
I went through a one hour stretching routine this evening that stretched all the major muscles from head to toe. It felt good. Some of the stretches were a little painful (not in a bad way, just uncomfortable), because my muscles are so inflexible. My quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes are some of my worst inflexible muscles.
I made a new fitness goal as I stretched tonight. By some point, I would like to be able to do a proper downward dog yoga pose. I know it's a pretty basic pose, and most people can do it, but I cannot. I have to bend my knees, my back is arched and I have overstretch pain in my hamstrings and calves when I try to do it, oh and my heels don't touch the ground. I am hoping to keep working on stretching, because it is soothing and relaxing.
I like to sweat during my workouts, but I think that stretching is a VERY important part of exercising and well being really. I am sure if everyone spent half an hour each day stretching, my job would at some point become obsolete. I doubt that will ever happen though, so I think my job is safe, for now anyway.