The Importance of Stretching Before and After Every Workout
When it comes to exercise, the majority of the thought and focus is placed on the actual activity, such as weightlifting, aerobics, or even sport. However, not much, if any, attention is paid to preparing your body for the activity or helping it to repair itself afterward. This comes in the form of stretching and is the most commonly overlooked, yet very important, aspect of exercise. Keep reading to find out more.
Do you spend most of your day sitting at a desk staring at a computer? How about crouched down gardening or lifting heavy items? If you answered yes, then throughout the day, your muscles and joints become tense and locked.
Once this happens, it doesn’t matter how much exercise you do, the muscles remain in a tense position, limiting its movement and the ability for you to exercise.
A simple 10 minute stretch before your workout is all that your body needs to not only reduce the tension but to also release any knots which have accumulated throughout the day.
Everybody suffers from the dreaded post-workout pain which arrives the next day and puts you in a position where you can barely get out of bed, let alone walk to the bathroom and then to the bus! And while it’s your body’s natural way of healing, it shouldn’t hurt so much that it limits your life.
Stretching after your workouts releases all of the muscles you have just worked out, helping to be in a relaxed state when you go to sleep for your recovery. This stretching not only improving your recovery time but also reducing the level of pain that you feel the next day! How can you say no to that benefit?!
If you are finding that progress has hit a bit of a plateau or you just aren’t reaching your fitness goals as fast as you would like, believe it or not, stretching can help.
Stretching your muscles after a workout releases the tension and not only allows for more blood and oxygen flow but encourages it! If you know anything about muscles, the more oxygen they receive, the faster they are able to grow and repair.
Now that you are convinced that stretching will be beneficial for you, it’s time to think about what type of stretches you will do. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Allocate a good amount of time. Don’t rush it! 30 seconds for each muscle at a minimum
- Stretch all of your body, not just the muscles you think you will use. Supporting and postural muscles also need to be stretched.
- Consider light sports as a stretch, such as a slow game of soccer. However, if you do choose a sport, grab the right shoes from the Groupon Coupons page for Foot Locker to prevent injuries.
- Ask for help. If you can’t complete a stretch, ask for trainer help to get you there.
Just because you are used to getting right into your exercise routine and putting up with the pain the next day doesn’t mean that this is how life has to be. Stretching has so many benefits which it can bring to any fitness routine and deserves a solid place in any fitness regime.