When considering a workout plan, stretching does not usually make the short list of activities. It’s hard to measure and see the results or benefits of stretching, but including stretching into your workout has surprising benefits to ensure you are able to workout better and longer.
Working out puts stress and tension on your muscles. Certainly that stress and tension is good for your body as is increasing your heart rate, but that stress and tension can cause muscle soreness as well. Once you are aware of the soreness in your muscles, it’s important to take care of the muscles you have just used. Stretching makes you aware of the muscles you have used in your workout as well as the muscles you have not used. Often our exercise routines work out the same muscles over and over again. When you vary your workout routine, you experience new muscles soreness. Stretching makes sure you are protecting the muscles you do not use as often as well as the muscles you use frequently.
Any exercise routine includes the possibility of injury. These injuries can come through an accident while exercising or through trying a new type of exercise. Dynamic stretching warms up your muscles before you exercise, so that when you begin your physical activity, your muscles have already has some preparation for the type of movement you will use as your exercise. Static stretching restores and relaxes your muscles after your workout. Whether you decide to stretch before or after your workout, including stretching into your workout is essential for your muscle health.
Many people will say they stretch as part of their workout routine, but what they refer to as stretching is a quick half-hearted effort. Taking the time to stretch and stretch correctly, allows your body to realign and center after a workout. This is an important step in your workout because it provides your muscles rest after physical activity. Stretching can improve your overall physical performance because it complements the stress and strain placed on muscles during a workout.
There are good ways to stretch and bad ways to stretch, especially if you have had a medical procedures or injury in the past. Consulting a physical therapist will help you learn the proper way to stretch.