Already feeling the burn! If that’s the case, then taking the time to stretch after a workout probably won’t sound too appealing. Getting to the end of your training program is hard enough. Most people would prefer a way to make their exercise easier. Well, adding as little as five minutes of stretching after a your workout, will do just that.
When working out, muscles contract making them stronger. This however, will also tighten them. As your muscles tighten, the fibers can intertwine and pull on your bones. The resulting scar tissue requires more time to heal, and often causes aches and pains in the days that follow.
Stretching realigns muscle fibers. This speeds up your recovery process after a workout. It further reduces pain felt the next day by decreasing the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles, and also lowers the risk of cramp. Decreasing these ill effects will have a huge impact on your ability to maintain a healthy exercise routine.
After a work out its important to stretch each major muscle group for at least 30 seconds. It takes time to lengthen muscle tissue safely. For a particularly tight muscle, hold the stretch for around 60 seconds. Ensure you don’t “bounce” as you stretch, as this can lead to small tears in the muscle (micro tears). Also very important, is not to over do it. If you feel pain while stretching, you’ve gone too far. A tight feeling stretch is all that’s required.
Stretching after you work out has a host of other benefits. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles. This leads to a greater range of motion, making daily activities like tying your shoes or moving furniture, less strenuous. Better circulation and improved posture are also a major plus.
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