Welcome to the Healthy Way Diet Program! Our focus is providing nutritionally sound and medically researched information and advice to help you live healthier, happier lives.
Why stretching is important
Last month I experienced a severe allergy flare-up and my exercise routine was strongly affected by it. I got better recently, so I went back to the gym. Working all my muscles again was simply amazing! The next day I woke up and my whole body was sore. Then I realized that I had overlooked my pre-workout routine. The studies performed on the usefulness of stretching had mixed results, but the majority of them showed that failure to stretch:
- Reduces overall flexibility
- Increase risk of injury
- Reduces endurance and stamina
- Harms the circulation of nutrients, blood and water to the muscles
In case you’re wondering what the most noticeable benefit of stretching is, you should know that it feels amazing! All those who spend hours sitting at their desks on a daily basis are familiar with that great sensation one can experience when raising his arms and trying to reach the ceiling. Stretching enhances endurance and circulation, and it also helps you feel more invigorated and awake.
What’s more, stretching can be very beneficial when you carry out a weight loss or maintenance regimen. If you adopt a healthy, active lifestyle, you will be more likely to meet your weight loss objectives, but you should also keep in mind that a muscle or joint injury might limit your capacity to accomplish those objectives.
If you decide to include stretching in your work-out schedule, consider the following steps:
- Walk! You have to stretch before your actual fitness routine starts, but note that you shouldn’t stretch entirely cold muscles if you want to stay away from potential injuries. Walk a little prior to stretching so that you can invigorate your body.
- Focus on the most important muscles. If you sat at your desk for a very long period of time or have experienced pain because of an exhausting workout, you know exactly which muscles necessitate some attention. Stretch those muscles! According to the Mayo Clinic, you should concentrate on your back, hips, calves, neck, shoulders and thighs.
- Don’t favor just one part of your body! Unfortunately, many people take care only of one side of their body. But this is wrong! Make sure you stretch absolutely all your muscles if you want to obtain good results.
- Stretching shouldn’t be painful. The point here is to experience an enjoyable pull in your muscles. Hence, when a stretch hurts, you have to ease up until you manage to come across that spot where the stretch isn’t painful anymore.
- Fluidity is vital: Don’t bounce because you might rupture your muscles! Ease into the stretches and stay there for about 30 seconds.
If you want to get better results, you should stretch before and after each workout. This way, you won’t hurt yourself and you’ll manage to enhance your overall flexibility.