I see you, yeah you! The one sneaking out of the fitness class five minutes early. Sure, the real workout is finished, but stretching is just as important. You may think it’s a waste of time, but flexibility is one of the most essential components of physical fitness.
It’s important to include flexibility training in your workouts for these 8 reasons:
- It relieves muscle tension
- It improves posture & balance
- It increases range of motion
- It prevents muscle and joint injuries
- It flushes out lactic acid
- It improves circulation and blood flow
- It improves coordination and accuracy
- It improves recovery time (most important)
Our muscles are not always ready to start.
Before you start stretching, it’s vital to warm up the muscles first because it increases the circulation and blood flow to the muscles and prepares them to work.
Warming-up before hand helps reduce stiffness and makes muscles flexible.
This is my suggestion- Everyday when you get to the gym, before you even start the weight routine, go ahead and do some lunges, jumping jacks, or try out an aerobics class . Then continue to your normal workout, and then stretch thoroughly. It’s imperative to end the workout by stretching all of the muscles that you worked out for about 25-30 seconds each. Yoga and/or Pilates are great ways to learn how to stretch different parts of the body and increase flexibility.
So remember: Be smart by practicing proper warm-ups and stretching. The risk of injury will be reduced, fitness levels will improve. You’ll notice faster recovery time and quicker results in the process.