If you’re anything like me, all you want to do after a hard workout is lay down on the ground until you can breathe again and then rush off to get some much-needed food for re-fueling. But do you hear Gen asking you to hang around and stretch? There's a reason that - first you need to stretch it out! Why is that? Well here are 5 reasons you should always take the time to stretch after class.
1. Help reduce stiffness and soreness
Your muscles go through many contractions during a workout which leaves them in a shortened state. Making sure you stop and stretch it out, will help rectify this and then you won’t feel quite as stiff and sore later.
Making sure you stretch after exercise helps improve your blood circulation. Good blood circulation means more oxygen in your blood, being pumped to your muscles, which in turn means better performance. Good circulation also decreases your recovery time.
3. Increased flexibility and range of motion
One of the main benefits of stretching after a workout is increased flexibility. With increased flexibility comes better range of motion. Having a better range of motion means you will increase your performance as your muscles will be working at maximum capacity.
4. Decreases risk of injury
Following on from talking about increased flexibility, as flexible muscle is much less likely to sustain an injury if you have to make a sudden movement. By increasing your range of motion, you can decrease the resistance on your muscles during exercise.
5. Improves posture
Stretching before and after exercise on a regular basis can greatly improve your posture. Bad posture can be caused by tight muscles that pull your body away from it’s natural intended position. Bad posture can limit your mobility, make you walk funny and cause some serious pain. Stretching through your back, chest and shoulders can help keep your spine in proper alignment and help relieve aches and pains.
So next time you think of rushing out of class before the stretching is done, you just might think again! Making the time to stretch is well worth it :)