Post workout stretching often seems like the last thing you want to do after completing an exercise routine. You might feel energized and ready to start a new task, or you might feel tired and ready to sit down to a meal, or simply to rest for a while. However, post workout stretching is really important, particularly for dieters.
Stretching Reduces Chances of Injury
Many people believe that before a workout is the most important time to stretch, because it can help to prevent injury. However, studies have shown that this is only partly true. Warming up is actually more important than stretching, and static stretching (stretching while keeping your body still) before exercise may cause injuries by loosening the muscles too much. Dynamic stretching, which is when you use motion to stretch your muscles (for example, rolling your shoulders), is considered to be the better choice for pre-workout stretches.
Static stretches performed post workout, however, will strengthen your muscles and increase the flexibility of your joints, which can help to prevent injuries. It will also help your muscles to cool down in a gentle way that can be difficult to achieve with dynamic stretches or light exercise. Stretching also promotes circulation, which can help your muscles to repair themselves after a workout.
Stretching Improves Flexibility
Studies have shown that stretching post workout is the best way to improve your flexibility quickly and safely. Good flexibility is important for dieters and those looking to lose weight because it increases the strength of the muscles, and allows a greater, more comfortable range of motion when exercising, such as running or swimming. Good flexibility makes exercising easier, making your weight loss plan less difficult. It also heps to prevent injuries which might otherwise stop you from exercising, delaying your weight loss, as well as hampering your motivation.
Stretching Promotes Muscle Tone
One of the benefits you are most likely looking for on a diet is a more slender, toned body. Stretching can help you to quickly achieve this goal. Not only does stretching itself burn some calories, it also helps to lengthen and firm your muscles. Yoga and pilates exercise programs consist mostly of different types of stretches, and these can be very effective in toning muscles. Even just stretching for 15 minutes post workout can help you to achieve the look you want.
Stretching Is Relaxing
Dieting is often a stressful activity, and your muscles can become tense, leading to aches and pains. Stress may lead you to break your diet. Stretching is a relaxing activity, not only for the body but also for the mind. It allows your muscles to relax and stops them from cramping. Stretching has been used as a meditation technique to focus the mind, and can help you to take your mind off your troubles, relieving stress.
Post workout stretching is a relaxing and invigorating activity that can help you to improve your flexibility and reduce your chances of injury. Try to put aside some time after your workout to include stretches, and you will soon feel the benefits.