While the exercise itself is important, stretching after your workout is just as vital. We want to prevent injury as much as we can when exercising, but it isn’t just injury prevention that stretching helps. In fact, this sometimes overlooked process can help you become more flexible and improve your posture in the long run. So, what are the key benefits of stretching after an exercise session?
When exercising, it is likely that our muscles will begin to feel constrained. In order to tackle this, stretching helps to work on your flexibility and therefore aids the muscles in their release back to a typical relaxation state. Even if you don’t feel flexible to start with, plenty of stretching after workouts will leave you feeling a lot more able to do other exercises that you weren’t able to do before.
It is common to feel some soreness after intense exercise and stretching is recommended to ease this. However, the amount of stretching you do will depend on the intensity of your workout. If you have had a very strenuous workout, you should be careful when stretching as too much can lead to tears in your muscle fibres.
During exercise, your body produces lactic acid, especially if you have overdone it with the workout a little bit. Lactic acid is something which makes your muscles feel sore and exhausted after exercise. One of the benefits of stretching before and after your workout is that it can get rid of this lactic acid - it does this by stimulating circulation and relieving tension, which brings more oxygen into your muscles.
If you find that you are slouching and experiencing pain as a result of your poor posture, regular stretching can definitely help with this. By stretching and warming up the muscles, you are creating a wider range of motion and increasing the blood flow which will, in time, help to improve your posture.