Fitness for thought
The Importance of Stretching
You’ve just accomplished an exhausting workout and you're ready to go home and jump into the shower…but WAIT! Should I stretch? Nah, who’s got time for that?
Your stretching workout is equally as important as your resistance training and/or cardiovascular workouts.
Human movement is dependent on the amount of range of motion available in our joints. There are many factors and reasons for reduced range of motion only one of which is muscular tightness. Muscles can become tight and shortened through postural adaptation or scarring. They can also become tight due to spasm or contraction. Whatever the cause tightness limits range of motion and may create a muscle imbalance.
During exercise, whether it be a 10km run or a heavy power lifting session, your muscles are contracting, shortening and tension is elevating.
The re-lengthening process can only be done with warm muscles. Stretching with cold muscles will only relieve tension temporarily and could result in injury. When muscles are warm they are more pliable and can lengthen with ease creating a more lasting effect.
The most obvious benefit of stretching is improving flexibility (range of motion). By improving your range of motion your body requires less energy to perform the same movements. With more flexible joints the likelihood of injury acquired during your workouts will decrease.
Our posture! Stretching helps ensure correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position. Keeping the spine and pelvis in alignment will help improve overall posture. Correct posture will relieve aches and pains and it will ensure your using the proper form and muscles groups during your workout.
By loosening the muscles and tendons during stretching this will increase your stamina, relieve muscle fatigue and increase blood flow. The longer you exercise the more energy you burn eventually leading to fatigue. With stretching you can delay the onset of muscle fatigue by ensuring oxygen is efficiently flowing through our blood.
Stretching promotes blood circulation. Not only could this reduce post workout soreness and shorten recovery time, but also it improves your overall health. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth, organ function and helps supply our muscles with the nutrients they need to function at their peak!
Set some time aside at the end of your workout to relax and stretch those muscles. Your Body and mind will thank you.
Sarah Koeslag BHSc, CSEP
3/28/2017 07:03:40 pm
Nice website and blog Sarah! 😁👍🏽
3/29/2023 12:32:06 am
Great ppost thanks
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A Personal Trainer with an appetite for good food and a need for knowledge.