One aspect of physical exercise that many people don’t consider much is stretching. Many folks jump headlong into their workout routine without giving much thought to whether or not they should take the time to stretch. They end their workouts without taking a few moments to stretch their muscles and relax. But stretching your muscles before and after a workout can benefit you in many ways. Here are just a few examples:
- Stretching helps maintain range of motion of both muscles and joints. This allows you to move around more easily and without discomfort.
- Stretching readies the body for exertion and pain. It allows the body to warm up, helps send blood to the right places, and ensures the muscles get the needed oxygen and nutrients.
- Stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury. It helps keep muscles flexible and mobile. It helps elongate muscles. Long muscles are less liable to tear.
- Stretching helps to reduce stiffness. Stretching after a workout encourages muscles to release toxins built up during exercise into the bloodstream. There, they can be broken down and eliminated.
- Stretching promotes circulation. Muscles need increased blood flow during exercise. Proper stretching can ensure they get it.
- Stretching improves posture by elongating tight muscles that pull parts of the body out of their intended position.
- Stretching feels good in a way other types of exercise don’t. A good post-exercise stretch will help you relax. Stretching can even help you cope with stress.