Today, everyone is going crazy about exercise. Health and staying fit has become the order of the day. We are all exercising. We all want to look fabulous and turn heads. What we do not know is why we should stretch before and after exercising. Stretches are things we must engage in before and after exercising. Why do you ask? Well, read on.
Prepares Your Body
Generally, before exercising we start by warm up exercises
: Getting the muscles all ready. Now, during this preparation, stretches should be incorporated. Stretching will help make the body more pliable and flexible. Look at it this way: you have been sitting down the whole day; your muscles have sort of become rigid. Now you cannot just start working them out without preparing them in advance.
Prevents Exercise Injuries
Exercising cold muscles could end up in injuries. This is why you need to stretch as a teaser before exercise. Stretch for a while to ensure muscles move away from the point they have been in throughout the day. Now these stretches should mainly focus on the muscles we intend to engage during the session. For instance, if we are trying to bulk up our legs, we may not need to stretch the arms in advance, maybe the calves. This will prepare the muscles for the upcoming strenuous exercise. Stretches will also help increase circulation of blood. This will in turn increase the supply of nutrients to the muscles.
Here is the thing; when we are exercising, a lot of energy is being put to use, necessitating a constant supply of nutrients to keep us going. We do not want to faint during exercise. Increased blood circulation will also help increase the rate, which will later ensure you reach your full range of motion in a controlled way. These stretches are a nice way of alerting your body that it is about to go into a phase of hard work. Your heart slowly gets into tune. We do not want to ambush our hearts with abrupt exercise. This is why we are saying that we should first stretch so that we ascend to our full range of motion in an organized way.
Stretching will also help increase your flexibility making it easier for you to workout. When you are flexible, you are able to move with ease. This is contrary to when our muscles are all rigid. Have you tried splitting into a run after sitting down for a whole day? How did it feel? That is the uncomfortable feeling you are trying to avert when we stretch before working out. You can actually sustain injuries if you start working out without any dynamic stretches as teasers. In the light of these reasons, we can say that it is very important to stretch before any exercise.
After exercising, we also need to stretch for a number of reasons. One is to decrease the chances of getting sore muscles. After all that working out, lactic acid will have accumulated in our muscles. The only way to reduce its effects is by doing stretches so that the lactic acid is broken down. It is a way of undoing the effects of the workout. So if you are that person who after an evening in the gym, is unable to walk due to sore thighs, consider stretching after exercising.
Stretches may not totally eliminate this aftermath, but it makes it less severe. Working out involves performing contractions and more contractions with our muscles. In the end, our muscles are left in a compressed state making it necessary for us to stretch in order to restore them to their normal state. You know your muscles require stretching when you finish exercising, and you are feeling tight all over. There is one remedy for that stretch. That is unless; you do not plan to wake up the following day due to sore muscles. Post exercise stretching will also help us cool down after vigorous exercising. Call it an organized way of bringing your muscles to a stop, as well as slowing down our heart rates. It's similar to how an athlete cannot stop exactly at the finish line, the impact on his heart and muscles would be tremendous. Stretching after a workout set will help us restore balance in our bodies. This is for both the heart and the muscles.
The debate on whether stretching is important after exercising may go beyond forever. However, based on the advantages of stretching before and after working out, that have been cited here, we can say that it is fundamental that we stretch both before and after. After all, who wants to be sore all over after exercising? Exercise should be an activity we enjoy and look forward to, not a traumatizing experience that leaves us all sore and hurt. Stretch before and after exercising: it is important.
Source: Consumer Health Digest
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