No matter what your fitness goals or routine is, you should always make time for a post-workout stretch. Stretching allows the body and the muscles to cool down. You will help your worked muscles release tension and begin the recovery process. Without stretching you can cause injury and pain, which will prevent you from working out the following day. Here are all of the reasons you should stretch after a workout.
Stretching can reduce the impact or risk of injury. If you work out and pull a muscle, you will need to stretch it so that it doesn’t become too tight or painful.
For example, you may pull a shoulder muscle during a weight-lifting session and require shoulder pain treatment. With that, the doctor will help and encourage you to stretch to release tension and reduce the severity of the pulled muscle. Thus, if an expert tells you to stretch, you should take that advice and always stretch to reduce the risk of injury.
Flexibility refers to the range of motion for a given joint. The degree of flexibility that a person has is influenced by muscles and connective tissues, like ligaments and tendons. Stretching is a form of exercise that can lead to an increase in flexibility.
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.
Helps Improve Posture
Not only can stretching improve our flexibility, but has great benefits for posture. Stretching every day can help posture by lengthening certain muscles that have a tendency to tighten up when we sit in a chair for work all day.
Focusing on your lower back, chest, and shoulders will aid in keeping your spine properly aligned. Stretching also relieves aches and pains, which can cause you to want to slouch.
You will notice you are not as fatigued as usual if you stretch after a workout. This is because stretching relieves tension from the muscles and keeps the oxygen flowing.
If you stretch properly, you’ll likely notice that your energy level is steady and consistent. When the body cools down, the brain releases endorphins, a natural and healthy feel-good chemical. After a good post-workout stretch, you’ll be energized and ready to meet any challenge.
Enhances Future Performance
A good, long stretching session after a heavy workout can actually improve the stamina of your muscles. When you stretch, it increases the blood flow to those sore muscles and relieves fatigue.
Stretching keeps oxygen flowing to your muscles, which delays the onset of muscle fatigue. As a result, this helps your muscles to endure for a longer period of time before fatigue sets in.
The next time you question whether a post-workout stretch is worth it, refer back to these points. You can gain better performance, flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury by simply stretching for five to ten minutes after a workout.