The Importance Of Stretching

Stretching exercises - Fitness couple outside doing stretches exercise. Fit woman and man doing hamsWhen you exercise, don’t forget to stretch!  It’s something that’s easily-overlooked (especially in certain training regimes that emphasize fast action) but sports medicine experts agree that it’s a critical part of a workout, and helps prevent injury.

There’s some debate over whether stretching before or after the workout is preferable, but whenever you do it, make sure to stretch properly!

Sports Medicine Experts Agree Stretching Aids Your Workouts

It keeps muscles flexible.

As you build up your muscles, the tendency is for them to shrink in the process.  The muscles are becoming more dense, and becoming more compact is typically part of that.  However, this can ultimately limit your range of movement or -in worse cases- encourage muscle tears during strenuous activity.

Stretching counteracts this, and ensures the muscles build flexibility as well as strength.  Both of these are critical for a balanced and healthy personal fitness/training program.

 Improved vascular flow.

Generally speaking, “active” stretching – where you go through Yoga-like series of movements – are better than “passive” stretching such as bending to touch your toes.  When you engage in active stretching, this starts your heart pumping and gets the blood flowing, prior to more strenuous activity.

Warming up your heart in this manner helps ensure proper blood flow throughout the workout, and may also decrease muscle pains from deoxygenation.

Relieving muscle tension.

Pre-existing muscle tension is a major impediment to good workouts, as it automatically limits the ability of a muscle to function properly.  While it would be nice if we could all get full massages before every workout, stretching is probably the next-best thing.

By getting the “kinks” out of your muscles at the onset, you’re helping guarantee they’re ready to give you 100% performance when you need it.  This is another way that stretching helps prevent torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

 

Please be sure to protect your muscles with proper stretching along with every workout.  The best sports medicine is preventative, by stopping injuries before they even happen.

Need more advice?  Please contact us with any questions you might have!

 

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