Exercise regularly? Stretching before and after each session is essential for optimal body function.
Exercise intensely and your muscles become saturated with lactic acid, leaving them fatigued and sore.
Stretching helps break down this lactic acid and relaxes muscles, improving recovery time between workouts. Furthermore, stretching boosts circulation as well.
Increased Blood Flow
Stretching triggers your body to increase blood flow in the area. This facilitates oxygen and waste removal, helping prevent muscle soreness and injury.
When your muscles are working hard, metabolic waste (lactic acid and urea) builds up within them. Over time, this accumulation can make your workout feel less effective.
Stretching can also help remove waste products from your muscles, making them more efficient for the next workout. It’s beneficial to stretch before and after working out, particularly if you’re doing heavy strength training or intense aerobic activity.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Stretching before and after exercise can reduce the likelihood of injury. Warming up your muscles with proper stretches helps ensure they have enough blood flow and nutrients to function optimally during physical activity.
Stretching can also release stress from your muscles, helping keep your body healthy and functioning optimally. This is important since too much strain on the immune system could weaken its defenses, increasing your likelihood of developing diseases and illnesses.
Two cluster-randomized studies, both involving over 1000 military recruits, revealed no difference in lower extremity injury risk when stretching before exercise (pooled hazard ratio 0.95; 95% confidence intervals: 0.78 to 1.16). Additionally, a single-component study involving over 1000 recruits also failed to demonstrate any reduction in calf injuries or muscle strains as a result of pre-exercise stretching.
Enhanced Muscle Coordination
If you’re a runner, cyclist, or someone else who engages in other forms of exercise, stretching is essential before and after each workout. Not only will stretching improve flexibility and reduce injury risk but it may also decrease fatigue during strenuous activity.
The ideal stretches are those that target the muscles used during your workout, and you should take time to do them regularly. On the other hand, if time is an issue, there are shortcuts you can do that will increase flexibility and reduce injury risks without taking up too much of your day.
Stretches fall into two categories: static and dynamic. Static stretches involve poses that you hold in place, while dynamic ones involve active movements. Dynamic stretches should always be done prior to beginning a workout in order to warm up your body and raise your heart rate.
Increased Energy Levels
Stretching before and after workouts has a beneficial effect on energy levels for those who do it. It increases oxygen flow within your body, encourages cell growth, and keeps organs functioning optimally.
Exercise also improves circulation. Increased blood flow to the brain helps enhance concentration levels and makes one feel more alert.
Stretching can give you a boost of energy in the mornings. After a stressful day or when feeling fatigued, taking some time out to stretch can make a significant difference in your overall well-being.
Stretching can also reduce your risk of injury. Muscles that are tight after working out are more prone to strain and becoming injured, so it’s essential to warm them up prior to engaging in strenuous activity.
Exercise causes the body to produce lactic acid, which can make muscles fatigued and sore. Stretching helps break up this buildup of lactic acid while also relaxing the muscle.
Stretching has many benefits, not least of which is reduced muscle soreness. But stretching can also aid in decreasing fatigue during and after workouts.
Hernandez suggests that if you’re experiencing neck soreness after an intense workout, some gentle stretches can help boost your spirits and make the experience much more bearable.
Stretching before and after workouts can reduce the strain of exercise while keeping your immune system strong. This is because stress causes imbalances in hormones such as cortisone or adrenaline, which may interfere with immune function.