exercise · Health & Fitness Info · Health and fitness info · post workout

Should I be Stretching Before and After My Work Out?

Whenever I go to the gym, I notice half the time women who are walking out after finishing a work out class BEFORE the cool down song starts. I’m sure there is good reason for them leaving early since they probably need to get going with the rest of their day. However, if you are one of those women who leave before the cool down stretching because you think that stretching is just an AFTER THOUGHT, please reconsider! There are so many AH-mazing benefits to stretching BEFORE and AFTER your work out no matter how short or long it is.


Here are only a few of the many benefits of stretching:

  • Decreases the risk of Injury- It helps to reduce muscle soreness and helps to speed the recovery from muscle and joint injuries
  • Promotes blood circulation- It increases blood flow to the muscles. Not only will this reduce soreness and shorten your recovery time, but it will improve your OVERALL health.  Greater blood circulation promotes cell growth and organ function.
  • Enables flexibility- The most obvious benefit of stretching is improving your range of motion and flexibility.  By improving your flexibility, your body requires less energy to make the same movements! How awesome!
  • Increases Stamina- Stretching loosens your muscles and tendons which relieves muscle fatigue and blood flow.  The longer your exercise, the more energy you burn, making your more fatigued, right? With stretching, you can delay the onset of muscle fatigue by ensuring more oxygen is flowing through your blood and furthermore increasing your endurance!
  • Provides good posture- Stretching the muscles in your lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine in better alignment and improve your overall posture by lessening aches and pains. With reduced pain, there is less desire to hunch or slouch. Not bad, huh?
  • Encourages and optimistic outlook- Your muscles know when you are feeling stressed because it causes your muscles to contract and create tension. This tension can be a negative impact on your mind in addition to your body.  Believe it or not, but stretching has powerful stress reducing abilities. It loosens your muscles, thus helping them relax and increase blood flow. Have you ever thought about stretching before you go to bed? If done, if will help contribute to a good nights sleep.

Lastly, stretching improves your energy levels. Especially during the winter season where it is NOT easy to find enough energy to get stuff done, try stretching! Sometimes you may have trouble staying awake and energized during your slow, dragging day.  Getting a good stretch in helps BOOST your energy level and keeps your alert.

‘Till next time!


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