Stretching: why is it important before and after a workout?

Stretching: why is it important before and after a workout?

28 February 2017

Ever been tempted to miss out on stretching in your workout routine?

Stretching before and after you workout is important for a number of reasons – but it is often the most overlooked aspect of our fitness regime.  Stretching should be a key component of your workout not least because it will help improve your general fitness levels and prevent the likelihood of injury too. Read on to find out more, and make stretching an integral part of your exercise regime from this day forward.

Helping your body to prepare

By stretching before you exercise, you’ll be helping your body to prepare for what is to come – your workout. Concentrate your stretches on the area your planned workout will focus on.

Reduce the risk of injury

By stretching before and after you exercise, you’ll also reduce the likelihood of injury - mitigating the likelihood of muscle, joint and back strains.

Improves your flexibility

If you stretch regularly, you’ll find your flexibility is improved, giving you a better range of movement in your joints. Muscles which are not stretched, remain bunched and restricted.

Improves your physique

Stretching before and after exercise will stop your muscles bunching, lengthening them and giving you a better overall physique. Think of a ballet dancer. Dancers build up their strength and suppleness gradually over time, with stretching an integral part of their training. It’s this combination that leads to their long-limbed appearance, with a not a bulky muscle in sight - even though they have the strength to dance throughout a three-act ballet.  This combination of flexibility and strength is integral to Pilates and Yoga too, with impressive results.

For better posture

Do you spend too much time sitting at a desk or bending over a laptop?

It’s a fact of modern life that many of us do. Regular stretching will help to realign your body, mitigating the effects of being sedentary and stooped for too long.  Stretching can help loosen up your shoulders, chest and back, potentially helping to relieve pain too. Ultimately, stretching will improve your posture, helping you to make the most of yourself.  

Releases tension

Stretching before and after exercise will help calm your mind and relieve tension, helping to improve your frame of mind. Regular stretching will de-stress you and encourage a more optimistic outlook on life.

For better stamina

In addition, the increased flow of oxygen around your body will help combat muscle fatigue, improving your stamina. 

Improved circulation

Stretching also helps improve the circulation of blood around your body, which not only shortens your recovery time after exercise but will also improve your general health too.

Cools you down

Stretching after exercise will help your body cool down gradually, again mitigating the risk of injury.

If stretching has not been a regular part of your exercise routine to date, we hope this article has been helpful in highlighting the numerous benefits of stretching before and after you exercise.  Don’t let stretching take a back seat in your workout routine. To get your new fitness regime underway book a bootcamp now.