Exercising is important for many reasons, and everyone seems to be adopting different forms into their routine these days. While the jaw-dropping weight loss transformations highlighting our social media may serve as a major source of inspiration for many, it is intrinsic motivation that produces results. However, keeping the bigger picture in mind and planning workouts and meals for the dream physique, many people, especially beginners, overlook the importance of the tiny steps, i.e., stretching. Yes, warm-up, cardio, protein shakes are all great, but protecting your body, the muscles, and tendons from wear and tear with a good stretch is highly underrated. So, suppose you’re ready to hit the gym for a killer workout tomorrow morning but haven’t considered stretching to be important. In that case, the following proven benefits of trying stretching before and after working out may change your mind:
- 1.Everyday activities and stresses of a hectic routine can lead up to tensed muscles. Even if you don’t feel any discomfort in your daily life, this tension will slowly but surely limit your range of motion and develop into body aches. A quick and straightforward remedy to prevent this is by finding some time in your day to pause and stretch your body. A thorough full-body stretch once a day can significantly decrease the incidents of back pain or age-related issues like joint aches, etc., and restore unrestricted range of motion.
- 2. Stretching is also recommended for individuals with sedentary jobs to improve posture and prevent stiff joints. When we keep sitting in a certain position for too long, muscles often tighten to support our back, and the blood flow to the legs slows down due to a lack of movement. This is very common in today’s work environment, where people spend a majority of their day sitting while working on a computer. Over time, the muscles tighten and become stiffer, leading to a near-permanent bad posture. Rectify this with a short break every hour and mobilize your limbs by either a short walk or a little stretch.
- 3. What differentiates a professional gymnast from an uninformed regular gym-goer is that the former know how important stretching is for muscles. Stretching is promoted and encouraged for all athletes, whether you are a beginner at the gym for building muscles, a yoga enthusiast, or a professional sportsperson. When we exercise, an enormous amount of tension is put on the targeted muscle group; if it is not prepped with proper warm-up and stretching before you go heavy on the workout, you’re basically asking for trouble.
Therefore, stretching before and after workouts is considered among the essentials that shouldn’t be skipped. A thorough stretch following the warm-up helps prevent injury as the muscles are ready to perform in a full range of motion. Similarly, severe muscle soreness can also be alleviated by stretching and relieving the tension built from the previous workouts.
If you experience fatigue and achy muscles for days post a heavy workout, chances are your body has produced a high amount of lactic acid. Hence, stretching before and after every session can help release any built-up tension, aid relaxation and reduce chances of body aches and injuries as well. Consult with your trainer at Onyx Fitness Club for the type of stretching that would be best suited to your body.