The Importance of Stretching Before and After a Swim
By Brandi Swieter
The importance of stretching is always stressed in regards to an average workout. What many people fail to realize is that this includes any sort of physical activity, not just a typical workout in a gym setting. Swimming, for example, requires use of most muscle groups, and therefore requires people to stretch both before and after the activity.
The body is normally stiff after sitting without being used for some time. If people go into the water with a stiff body, they won’t have much flexibility or be able to move as well as they should. Stretching beforehand will loosen up the muscles and allow for better overall flexibility while in the water.
Decreasing the Possibility of Injury
Injuries can occur easily while swimming, especially for those who go in stiff. Loosening up the muscles and increasing flexibility by stretching will help to decrease the possibility of an injury happening. The body will be better able to handle the movements in the water and work as intended without experiencing pain or problems.
Maximizing Cardiovascular Benefits
Swimmers can get in a good workout in the pool. They may even find themselves out of breath and struggling if they push themselves hard enough. Stretching before hitting the water will help to maximize the cardiovascular benefits that come from getting the lungs and heart working. People who go into the water without stretching first may find it more difficult to breathe and move. Stretching will get the lungs working in advance, making it easier to cope with the physical activity done while swimming.
Improving Recovery Time
Because all of the muscle groups get worked out during swimming, the body can feel extremely fatigued and tired afterward. It will need some recovery time before it can work well at other activities. Stretching after a swim can improve recovery time and get the body back to normal operation faster than normal. A cooldown lap around the pool and a few simple stretches are all that’s necessary.
Pain can set in during swimming, and injuries can happen as well. Those who fail to stretch before and after a swim are far more likely to injure themselves or experience pain, so every swimmer should be sure to remember their stretches just as with any other type of workout. Anyone who does experience pain can visit The Joint Chiropractic to have their joint restrictions eliminated and aches decreased.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Decatur, Ga.