Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for your health. What some people may not realize is that stretching is just as important as the workout itself. While you can stretch at any time of the day or night, stretching after a workout helps you maintain the routine and eliminates the need for a warm up. Stretching the following day can also help ease muscle aches and increase your flexibility. There are several benefits of stretching your muscles after you've worked out.
Stretch both immediately after exercising and the following day to help relieve muscle soreness. This soreness is caused by muscle trauma and lactic acid build up, both of which occur during exercising. Stretching helps release the lactic acid from your muscles. Stretching also increases blood circulation to your muscles. This helps flush out toxins, which relieves soreness.
Stretch your muscles and tendons. Stretching also helps elongate your muscles and tendons, which increases range of motion. An increased range of motion means your joints can move farther without experiencing an injury. If you play sports or exercise with tight muscles, you are more likely to injure yourself if you fall or overdo it. Your stretching should not be painful, so if you feel pain during stretching, go a little easier on your muscles.
Stretch slowly and carefully. By doing so, you can dramatically increase your flexibility by regularly stretching your muscles. Your flexibility naturally decreases with age, so regular stretching will help you maintain your flexibility longer. Make sure you stick to your stretching regimen. If you stop, you'll lose all of the benefits you've gained by stretching regularly.
Stretch all muscles groups. Stretching greatly increases muscle circulation, reducing your risk of developing a wealth of illnesses, including diabetes and kidney disease. A 2009 study by the American Journal of Physiology also revealed that flexible adults over the age of 40 had arteries that were less stiff, which reduces their risk of stroke or heart attack.
Warm up before you stretch. Jog in place or around the room if possible. Make sure that your blood is flowing and that you feel ready to stretch. Attempting to stretch cold muscles leads to muscle strains and injuries. After warming up for at least 10 minutes, begin your stretching regimen, making sure to target all the large muscle groups. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and do not bounce while stretching. Bouncing while stretching causes tears in your muscles. As these tears heal, they create scar tissue, which can lead to more problems.
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