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The Importance of Stretching Before and After Exercise

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How does stretching improve wellness?

Everyday life throws lots of challenges at you, and the resulting stress can be held in your muscles. Stretching provides numerous benefits to help your body keep itself healthier. One of the most important of these is stress relief.

By relaxing and loosening your muscles, you can maintain better control over your blood pressure, avoid chronic muscle pain, and keep your immune system ready for anything.

 

Stretching and physical therapy

Physical therapy can help you make the most of your workouts and improve your overall health.

It’s important to make sure you’re doing the right kind of stretches before and after your workout. If you aren’t sure which ones are appropriate to be doing, have no fear! A physical therapist can guide you regarding which types of stretches are the best for your current physical condition and the type of activities you’re participating in.

Different types of stretching

There are several different types of stretches a person can do before and after a workout.

Dynamic. These are active movements that are not held but still cause muscles to stretch. These are often done to prepare your muscles for movement.
Ballistic. Ballistic stretching involves bouncing movement to push muscles beyond a normal range of motion.
Static. This involves holding a particular stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. This type of stretch should feel comfortable and is normally done after a workout.
 

How can I benefit from stretching before my workout?

There are several specific advantages you’ll receive when adequately stretching before your workout. Stretching 5 to 10 minutes is probably enough for most activities. It’s important, however, to adequately stretch all the muscles you’ll be using.

Three benefits of stretching before a workout include:

– Increased blood flow.
– Increased flexibility and range of motion. 
– Improved performance. 

 

How can I benefit from stretching after my workout?

You may be tempted to go straight into relaxation mode after a workout but it’s important to get in even a few minutes of stretching after exercising.

Some benefits of stretching after you finish your workout, are:

– Reduces pain and risk of injury.
– Gradual relaxation. 
– Elimination of lactic acid.

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