¡Hablamos Espanol!

Are You Causing Damage By Skipping Stretching During Your Workout?

Feb10th 2022

It’s no secret: Americans do not engage in enough physical activity on a daily basis! With our jobs and working from home for the majority of last year, we’re leading very sedentary lives. It’s just not good for you, but it’s the reality for many.

The truth is that adults in good health should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. If you already know you need to be more active, you may be planning your own regular exercise routine, which is fantastic! That’s a great start, but don’t forget to complete the task properly.

Stretching after your workout is just as important as stretching before. A few minutes of gentle “cool-down” exercises such as stretches can make the difference in how well your body responds to your new routine. Our innovative care strategies at RedCore Physical Therapy will help you find quick relief. Here are three reasons you should NOT be skipping this critical part of your workout!

3 reasons to perform post-workout stretches

Reason 1: Stretching allows you to gently and slowly lower your heart rate.

One of the many advantages of moderate exercise is its ability to raise your heart rate for long periods of time. This controlled stress strengthens the heart muscle, improves circulation, and increases oxygen delivery to the muscles.

Healthline states: ‘Cooldown exercises and stretches lower your chance of injury, promote blood flow, and reduce stress to your heart and other muscles.” Stretching after a workout is referred to as “cool-downs” for a reason. They slowly and gently restore your vital signs to normal levels, preventing excessive blood pooling and lightheadedness that could lead to a serious fall or other accident.

After vigorous exercise, your physical therapist will always guide you through cool-down stretches to ensure that you get the most out of your workout while avoiding these unwanted post-workout side effects.

It’s time to return to homeostasis (your body’s natural resting state) once the workout is over. You don’t want to leave your physical therapy sessions or your home exercise routine with a racing heart, high blood pressure, or a headache!

Reason 2: Stretching after working out prevents the buildup of toxins.

Do you get that gnawing ache in your muscles when you exercise? The presence of lactic acid causes this reaction!

Lactic acid, along with the accumulation of another metabolic waste product called hydroxyproline, is a natural byproduct of muscular exertion.

Don’t worry, it won’t cause you any harm! You don’t want it to stay in your muscles for too long, but that’s exactly what it will do until you show them the door with some post-workout stretches.

The longer these substances remain in your tissues, the more soreness you’ll feel in the hours after your workout. You may save a few minutes on your busy schedule, but you’ll pay the price in pain — and you may have to postpone or reduce your next workout as a result.

Reason 3: Stretching Helps to Prevent Post-Workout Injuries

Your muscles develop a habit of pulling tightly against tendon attachments as you exercise. Even after you stop exercising, those tissues remain tense and tight, making strains, sprains, and the development of chronic inflammatory pain more likely. Stretches encourage the tissues to relax and re-establish their original length, restoring suppleness and reducing the risk of post-workout injury.

You don’t want to strain a muscle right after an exercise session if you’ve put in the time and effort to stick to an exercise routine, whether on your own or as part of a physical therapy program. Make sure you stretch after you finish your workout; your body will thank you later. Our trained physical therapists are dedicated to help you achieve a pain-free life.

A physical therapist can help you with your post workout stretching routine

You’re not alone if you haven’t been stretching after your workout. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed! When people aren’t used to exercising, they frequently make this mistake.

If you’re trying to get more exercise to help with a physical problem like chronic pain, you might end up doing more harm than good if you don’t have the right advice.

Our physical therapist can help you develop a healthy post-workout stretching routine. Call us today to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy, and let us show you how to make the most out of your workouts!

Tags: , , , ,