6 Benefits of Stretching Before and After Your Workout

Do you work out regularly? Working out on a regular basis is a great way to improve and maintain good health. It is critical to make sure you have a good stretching routine in place, however.

If you’re not stretching before and after your workout, however, you’re not really taking advantage of a complete workout routine. Stretching exercises are a staple of physical therapy for many reasons.

There are several specific benefits of stretching both before and after a workout. Keep reading to learn more about these benefits, as well as how physical therapy can help you begin to incorporate more healthy stretches into your daily workout routine.

How does stretching improve wellness?

Everyday life throws lots of challenges at you, and the resulting stress can be held in your muscles. Stretching provides numerous benefits to help your body keep itself healthier. One of the most important of these is stress relief.

When you experience tightness, spasms, and chronic discomforts such as headaches and neck pain, it causes your muscles to hold stress. Stress floods your body with “fight or flight” hormones such as cortisone and adrenaline. These imbalances can suppress your immune function, making you more vulnerable to viruses and other diseases. Regular stretches help your body release all that pent-up stress.

By relaxing and loosening your muscles, you can maintain better control over your blood pressure, avoid chronic muscle pain, and keep your immune system ready for anything.

Stretching and physical therapy

Physical therapy can help you make the most of your workouts and improve your overall health.

A physical therapist can put together an exercise routine for your specific type of workout. Whether you’re playing a game of tennis, training for a mini-marathon, or walking through the neighborhood, physical therapy can help you make the most of your activities.

It’s important to make sure you’re doing the right kind of stretches before and after your workout. If you aren’t sure which ones are appropriate to be doing, have no fear! A physical therapist can guide you regarding which types of stretches are the best for your current physical condition and the type of activities you’re participating in.

It’s also important to make sure you’re doing the right exercises in the correct way. You’ll want to make an appointment with a qualified physical therapist to learn what stretches are right for you.

Different types of stretching

There are several different types of stretches a person can do before and after a workout.

It’s important to know which types are right for you and when you should use them in a workout.

  • Dynamic. These are active movements that are not held but still cause muscles to stretch. These are often done to prepare your muscles for movement.
  • Ballistic. Ballistic stretching involves bouncing movement to push muscles beyond a normal range of motion.
  • Static. This involves holding a particular stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. This type of stretch should feel comfortable and is normally done after a workout.

How can I benefit from stretching BEFORE my workout?

There are several specific advantages you’ll receive when adequately stretching before your workout. Stretching 5 to 10 minutes is probably enough for most activities. It’s important, however, to adequately stretch all the muscles you’ll be using.

Three benefits of stretching before a workout include:

  1. Increased blood flow. The first thing stretching can do is increase your blood flow. Increased blood flow to your muscles prepares them for strenuous activity.
  2. Increased flexibility and range of motion. Stretching in the proper way will loosen your muscles and tendons. This will increase flexibility and range of motion during your workout.
  3. Improved performance. Stretching beforehand increases blood flow, flexibility, and range of motion, which will in turn improve overall performance.

How can I benefit from stretching AFTER my workout?

You may be tempted to go straight into relaxation mode after a workout, but don’t be so quick to sit back down and start scrolling through your phone! It’s important to get in even a few minutes of stretching after exercising.

There are several specific benefits of stretching after you finish your workout, including:

  1. Reduces pain and risk of injury. Muscles that stay tight after a workout are more prone to injury. Loosening up your muscles will reduce your chance of injury.
  2. Gradual relaxation. It’s beneficial for both body and mind to gradually slow down. When you stretch after a workout you’re giving yourself the chance to gradually wind-down.
  3. Elimination of lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced when you work out. This substance can make muscles achy and tired. Stretching can help reduce the amount of lactic acid throughout your body.

Still not sure how to incorporate proper stretches into your workout?

The appropriate stretches can help you improve your overall health. If you’d like some help on your journey towards making stretching a part of your daily workout routine, we’re here to help! Contact SportsCare Physical Therapy today to learn more.

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