6 Benefits to Stretching Post Workout!
Stretching is often overlooked post workout, whether it’s because there isn’t enough time or the old idea of “stretching will take away from muscles growth” or maybe you just aren’t sure how to do it properly, so you just skip it!
Taking the extra 10-15 minutes to stretch out the body after a workout is essential in helping the body recover quickly, and efficiently. It is a key component in training, along with cardiovascular, strength and endurance training.
Plus, the benefits aren’t just for your muscles – your nervous system, heart and brain can benefit greatly from focused, well done stretching!
6 Reasons why you should stretch after your workout
Stretching muscles and helping them return to their normal state allows them to move with less restriction. If muscles stay in a tight or constricted position for long periods of time, they are more prone to being “pulled” or “strained”.
Stretching allows the heartrate to return to normal, which allows blood to circulate easier back to the muscles, removing lactic acid build-up and reducing swelling & tension & decreases recovery time. The quicker this happens, the quicker the muscles (and joints!) can move with ease and reduce their risk of injury.
Shortening your recovery time will allow you to use your muscles at their fullest capacity much quicker, which will in-turn allow for quicker strength building and less time in recovery.
Taking time to stretch properly can help the muscles return to their “comfort state” where they function freely in your day to day movements.
Over time, your flexibility will increase, allowing for better range of motion, ease of movement through your workouts and less tension in the muscles.
Noticing low back pain, shoulder pain, & restrictions in movement? Taking the time to stretch out the legs, hips, back and upper body can help muscles and fascia realign and may help decrease pain symptoms. Strength and stability are part of the pillars of being pain free – flexibility and mobility are the other key parts!
Lactic Acid Removal
Stretching helps the body remove lactic acid quicker, allowing the muscles to get back to a comfortable state and feel better, faster.
Decreasing the heart rate to a neutral pace, & giving the parasympathetic nervous system time to take over the body, will allow for the brain to release post-workout endorphins – during your stretch you allow the body to absorb these, which will help you feel good & maybe a little more energized after your workout!
Build better communication between your Mind & Body
During your stretching, deep breaths into the belly tell the body and nervous system to relax. This relieves stress on the muscles, joints, fascia and your mind. This is also a great time to scan the body and notice what’s going on. Become aware of any aches, strains, pains etc. so that you can deal with them in the moment or be cautious throughout the remainder of your day. Having a post workout stressor sneak up on you later in the day (or in the middle of a good nights sleep!) can cause injury, trauma, and stress.