6 Reasons You Should Stretch After Physical Activity
When I work at the gym, I see so many people doing their workouts and leaving without stretching. Then, they ask me how come they have pain here and there! Even after a walk or a jog people should stretch their legs. Flexibility should be practiced most days of the week.
Another question that comes back regularly is: should I stretch before or after my workout?
Some stretches can hurt your performance, especially before your body has had a chance to warm up. Moreover, you are more at risk of injuries when you stretch a cold and non-elastic muscle than when it is warmed. You need to know that there are two (2) major types of stretches:
• Dynamic Stretching is performed in the warm up, at the beginning of your exercise program, by increasing the range of motion, just like the one in a group fitness class (example: marching with high knees, large arm circles, or marching with a single leg lift). This type of stretch boosts your body temperature, heart rate, and circulates nutrients to your muscles. Get an example below (get the full 10 days Active For Life here):
• Static Stretching is when you hold a stretch position for 30-60 seconds to improve your flexibility and range of motion (example: while laying on your back and pulling the leg towards you to stretch the back of your leg). This is the one you have to practice at the end of your training session to lengthen your thigh muscles. Perhaps, if you have tight muscles, it is recommended to stretch to help loosen them slightly between sets, for 10 seconds or less. Yoga (click here to know when/where I’m teaching) is such a safe and fun way to stretch those tight muscles while you work on your balance, strength, and concentration all at the same time. Use my videos below to help you get ore flexible:
- 10 Days Chair Yoga Videos
- 8 Days Yoga Stretch Videos
- 10 Days Yoga Videos
- 10 Days Bedtime Stretch Yoga Videos
Moreover, stretching not only helps you get more flexible, it also helps to:
- Avoid injuries;
- Reduce inflammation, overall pain and back pain;
- Read: Why do We Have Back Pain and How to Be Pain Free by me!!
- Increase range of motion;
- Improve posture;
- Enhance athletic performance;
- Promote circulation and blood flow.
No pain, no gain? That is so not true! I always invite my clients to listen to their body while working out, stretching or practicing yoga. If you have 10-15 minutes during your day or you need a break from work, take a chair or a mat and just practice some stretches. If you want to know the basic ones, I have created seated and mat stretch guides. Review and print them here:
I am a very active gal and my muscles are tight. I have always stretched but now that I teach yoga, my body craves it. Indeed, it is always a good idea to use therapy balls and a foam roller on stubborn or tighter muscles. I have helped many clients with muscle and joint pain. Look what I can offer you to release some discomfort and pain here.
Read more here:
10 Reasons Why You Should Be Stretching by Ace Fitness
The importance of stretching by Harvard Medical School
Stretching: 9 Benefits, Plus Safety Tips and How to Start by Healthline
8 tips to Relieve Tight Muscles After Physical Activity by Abstract Fitness