The Importance of Stretching Before and After Your Workout
Stretching seems like such a waste of time when you are so time poor, right!? All you want to do is hurry to your workout and get home or get to work. Stretching is the last thing on your mind and you might do it half-heartedly, or you might not do it at all. However, stretching should be as important to you as the exercising you’re doing.
Here’s why it is essential to stretch before and after your workout:
Stretching Before Your Workout
There are a number of reasons why stretching before your workout is important.
- Stretching can increase flexibility – Stretching can increase your range of motion, making you able to perform better while exercising and avoid injury.
- Stretching will increase blood and oxygen flow to your muscles – Stretching gives your circulation a boost as it frees tension and tightness around your body. As this tightness is freed, your blood-carrying oxygen will be able to flow easier, giving you a better workout without the aches and pains.
Stretching isn’t something you should immediately as stretching cold muscles can cause injury. Try going for a quick jog, or doing some low-key warm-ups for 5 minutes before stretching.
Stretching After Your Workout
Stretching after your workout is just as important as stretching before your workout.
- Reduce the effects of lactic acid – When you work out lactic acid builds up in your muscle. This is what causes those aches and pains you endure after a good fitness session. Stretching while you are warm continues that circulation and may help reduce that soreness you get after going. Those aches and pains can put you off your next workout so if you can avoid or reduce them by stretching, it’s worth it.
- Stretching after a workout is calming – It definitely feels good to slowly stretch and become in-tune with your body after a workout. You feel accomplished and at ease after a workout and stretching can be a great way to finish off a stress-relieving workout with a chance to relax.
How Do You Stretch Correctly Before and After a Workout?
Dynamic stretches should be used before your workout and typically be held for 3-10 seconds and done on each side of the body if applicable. Reaching, balancing and lunges are great ways to stretch before a workout. After a workout, your body is warmed up and stretches can be slower and longer as you cool down. These stretches should focus on those areas that might become sore after a workout such as your hamstrings, quads and glutes.
GFitness believe in the importance of stretching before and after workouts and we have fabulous personal trainers to suit your goals. If you want to be the fittest you can be, check out our personal trainers in Freshwater and Rhodes.