Hold... and Relax

More often than not, we tend to skip the stretch after our workout. It’s understandable. Stretching is time consuming, boring, and the benefits are nearly invisible. However, it is imperative that we incorporate a stretch routine into our workout schedule. 

Why?

Well, stretching has numerous benefits both physically and mentally. Firstly, it helps improve your body’s mobility. This is crucial when carrying out activities of daily living. Good mobility prevents injuries due to exercising, and it also reduces pain and soreness. 

How does stretching due this?

Glad you asked! Stretching improves your circulation, which help deliver more oxygen to your muscles. After a workout, your muscles are deficient in oxygen, therefore increasing the delivery of it helps recovery. This increased blood flow also delivers more of the nutrients the muscle needs.

Additionally, it helps prevent muscular degeneration. This is especially the case for those who hold office jobs and spend the majority of their day sitting. Stretching the hip flexors, extensors, and gluts help increase blood flow and activity to those muscles, which spend more time being inactive.  

It also helps to release muscle tightness. This tightness can lead to pain, which can lead to our body compensating for it improperly in order to alleviate it. We want to stay away from bad form. Therefore, by releasing the tension in the muscles we can prevent this from happening. This has the added benefits of improving balance and flexibility. Better balance also helps to alleviates muscle tightness. Posture is also improved through stretching.

Aside from the physical benefits, stretching also has mental rewards. It allows you to become calm, release tension, and increase energy. This is also a good time to focus on your breathing. And, if you think that stretching will be huge time-consuming burden, I have some good news! As little as stretching 3 days a week for about an hour is enough. 

 Hold it for 30 seconds and release. 

Hold it for 30 seconds and release. 

Next time you’re working out, feel tense, or pain, remember to stretch a little. The benefits are impressive in the long run.