Post-workout stretching often goes underrated. Most of us like to get our one hour of high-intensity workout in and call it a day. While it’s easy to stay focused on performing at peak levels, it’s just as important to cool down with post-workout stretches.
You should invest the same amount of time and practice in stretching as you do in your high-intensity sessions to build a well-balanced workout routine. The great thing about stretching is that you can do it almost anywhere on the go. The key is reminding yourself what these post-workout stretches do for you.
Benefits of Post-Workout Stretches
By stretching after your workout, you’re allowing your muscles to loosen and recover from the strenuous activity you just put on your body. By reducing muscle tension and elongating your muscles, you’re preventing injuries and making your body more flexible and ready for another great optimal performance.
Here are just a few of the benefits of post-workout stretches.
- Injury Prevention
The last thing you want is an injury. When you don’t incorporate post-workout stretches into your physical activity routine, you’re only increasing the likelihood of creating an injury.
While engaging in cardio or strength training, you’re creating little tears in your muscle fibers that cause soreness. Soreness is a sign that your muscles are getting stronger, so it’s important to nurse them. When you don’t stretch, your muscles remain tense, which reduces the mobility in them and your joints.
Products like vibrating foam rollers are great tools to incorporate into your post-workout stretches. It relaxes tense and stiff muscles, allowing your body to loosen and recover properly.
- Increased Flexibility
Flexibility doesn’t simply apply to dancers or yogis. It should be applied to everyone, no matter what type of physical exercise you’re involved in. Many runners and strength training professionals engage in yoga as cross-training for recovery and injury prevention.
Elongating your muscles will help condition your body for more optimized performance in your next workout and allow your joints to move through their full range of motion. Not to mention, it will help promote better posture and balance that will build endurance and enhance the quality of your workouts. You’ll get nicely toned and lean muscles that will look very attractive!
- Improved Blood Circulation
When we are engaging in high-intensity workouts, our blood is pumping and our heart beats rapidly. So, it’s important to conclude your workout routine with a steady heart rate.
Post-workout stretches allow the body to cool down and the heart rate to return to normalcy. This helps regulate blood flow and avoid fainting or dizziness.
- Lactic Acid Elimination
When you exercise, the oxygen levels in your body decrease and produce lactic acid, which causes muscle aches, rapid breathing, and nausea. Stretching helps get rid of the lactic acid that has accumulated in the body throughout your hard workout and puts your body back to neutral.
Not only will you reap the physical benefits of stretching, but you’ll also reap the mental benefits as well. After a strenuous workout, engaging in post-workout stretches gives you the time to slow down and relax your mind. You have the opportunity to be present and in tune with your mind and body.
Although high-intensity workouts give you the nice adrenaline rush or the runner’s high, it’s important to take time to be still. This allows you to take time to get to know what your body needs and wants. It’s important to listen to it in order to avoid overexerting yourself.
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