When we get into our exercises we are so eager to get moving and get the blood flowing. But have you ever asked yourself: How often do you stretch before and after a workout session? To most people stretching doesn't seem very "exciting" like the actual workout, so we just skip it and just pat yourself on the back for getting to the gym. But did you know doing proper stretches before and after exercise has many proven health benefits and can improve your workout?
Below are 5 benefits of getting a good stretch in before and after you workout:
1. It helps prepare you for your workout -
Stretching before a workout can help your muscles, ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, and other tissues become loosened up and prepared for exercise! Pre-workout stretches and mobility also increase blood flow throughout your body, providing and adequate amount of oxygen!
While, stretching after a workout helps you cool down appropriately and reduce tissue tightness and pain! Who doesn't want to be less sore after a hard day at the gym?
2. Gives you a better workout -
The great part is pre-workout stretching also prepares your body for exercise! It’ll help you safely reach your workout intensity goal faster, since you’ll be able to start a workout already warmed up and ready to sweat!
3. Better overall health -
It has been shown that regular stretching improves your blood pressure, heart rate as well as maximize your overall mobility, especially as you age. So if you’re planning to live for a really long time, do yourself a favor and get to stretching next time you plan to exercise!
4. Decrease the risk of a serious injury -
Doing a good stretch can reduce the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains, joint damage, and other painful injuries common with sports and athletics. Better safe than sorry!
5. Relieve stress -
We all know life can get a little crazy and stressful at time.. Stretching regularly, especially when combined with deep breathing and mindfulness exercises, is an amazing way to dull out mental stress and even reduce signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The best part of stretching to relieve stress is that you can do it whenever, even if you aren’t exercising! Start your day trying stretching or some yoga and see what a difference it makes!
For more information about the benefits of stretching and how you can incorporate it into your daily workout regime, try talking to a physical therapist today!
But for now, try to STRETCH before you SWEAT!