The Link Between Post-Workout Stretching & Recovery
Working out and training can be gruesome. Many times, after a workout, even sometimes, a day or two post exercise, the body is still sore. This is due to muscle repair. Throughout a workout, muscles contract and form small rips and tears in order to grow and get stronger, don’t worry too much, it’s normal, but it can be painful.
After each and every workout, it’s essential to perform additional exercises in the form of stretching to aid in the recovery process of your muscles and joints to promote recovery, relaxation and overall flexibility and mental strength.
Without rest, recovery or relaxation, your body will have a strained time producing results. It can also pose serious injury if proper muscle and joint maintenance isn’t adhered by.
Why it’s important to stretch after any physical activity
During a workout the body undergoes rigorous activities of pushing, pulling, contorting, moving, lifting and so much more. All of these activities require muscle strength and endurance.
As mentioned, muscles contract and relax all throughout a given workout within the body. During the resting phase (workout completion), the muscles will rebuild themselves. Without stretching, muscles can rebuild themselves shorter overtime, which can cause injury much easier.
The conscious effort to follow through with a complete workout is this simple recipe:
Warm up + Main Work-out + Cool Down + Stretching = COMPLETE WORKOUT
Even after the strenuous core part of the session, cooling down and allowing time for proper stretching is just as important as anything else.
Stretching has proven effective in improving range of motion, increased blood flow and an energy boost ultimately optimizing performance in the long run.
Stretching for relaxation. Why it’s important.
Stretching is part of any workout, no matter how you break it down. It’s at this time where it’s important to begin to allow the body the best possible recovery process and that includes relaxation.
Taking full deep breaths during stretching will open up your chest and allow for more oxygen to circulate within the body aiding in the refill of myoglobin oxygen that is stored in the muscles that had been used up during the core of the workout. Oxygen goes hand in hand with quicker muscle recovery.
A stretching session along with deep breathing will regulate the heart beat and increase relaxation in the body. This relaxation will aid in calming and clearing the mind and has been scientifically proven as an essential component of successful, sustainable recovery.
Letting go of stress through stretching has shown a clear connection between our emotions and our physical bodies. It’s well known that thoughts and feelings can evoke physiological responses, both negatively and positively.
The calmer and more relaxed one feels, the faster the body will heal through a strengthened immune system and balanced mind.
It’s important to take it slow and listen to the body. Don’t stretch to the point of pain, stretch patiently, and take it easy.
You are now on your way to the wholesome and complete package of a near perfect workout session.
Source: JiuJitsu Times
Source: Spark People
Source: Next Avenue