Why You Should Stretch Before Every Workout
By Genevieve Cunningham
Professional athletes know it, coaches know it, and now you know it too: Stretching is really important. You’ve probably heard this advice before, but whether or not you follow it is a different story. Perhaps you skip the stretch because you’re short on time, or maybe it’s because you just don’t realize how important it really is. If you’re skimping on the stretching, take a look at why you should add this to your workout routine as soon as possible.
To Loosen the Muscles
When not in use, the muscles tighten up. They don’t necessarily hurt, but they definitely aren’t limber. Before you jump into using them, it’s important to loosen them up a bit. This gives them a bit of flexibility, which will be critical before you run, jump, bend, or otherwise engage them. Without that loosening, the muscles won’t reach their maximum ability, which means you won’t get as much out of your workout as you had hoped.
To Reduce the Risk of Injury
Tight muscles, when not prepared beforehand, are more prone to injury. If you take a tight muscle and demand that it performs an intense action, it’s more likely to snap. What does this mean? It means that without adequate stretching, you’re more likely to pull that muscle or even injure a ligament or tendon. Once injury occurs, it obviously brings on some pain, but it also puts you out of the workout game for a while, putting off reaching your goals a bit longer.
To Avoid Stiffness and Pain
Even if you manage to skip the injury, inadequate stretching will cause stiffness and subsequent pain. Muscles that don’t get stretched out remain stiff, even through the duration of your workout. This creates a tight feeling and a serious lack of flexibility. The best way to avoid this? Just stretch before you begin, and most of that stiffness will be worked out of the muscles before you even start.
Far too many people skip the stretch before jumping into the workout. Be it laziness, forgetfulness, or apathy, skipping the stretch is a bad idea. Take 10 minutes to loosen up the muscles before you begin. While it may seem like a bother now, you’ll be glad when you miss out on the pain and instead enjoy an effective workout every day.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Alpharetta, Ga.