Not all workouts are created equal. Some are thorough and will give you results, while others lack important steps. For instance, it might be tempting to save time by avoiding a pre or post-workout stretch, but it’s actually a critical part of your exercise.
A Safer Workout
Stretching is one of the most effective ways to prevent injury. This is especially true if you exercise in the mornings or have a job that involves minimal physical activity. Without preparation, your workout could be a hazardous shock to the muscles involved. While it’s not guaranteed to eliminate microscopic tears resulting in the usual soreness, it’s your best bet for preventing muscle and joint strains or other problems that are caused by pushing unprepared tissues a bit too far. If you pull something, this could throw off your daily workout routine and put a damper on progress.
In addition to preparing your muscle and joint tissues, stretching will allow a much more effective workout overall. Those who start a workout feeling a bit rusty tend to hit a wall much earlier on than those who have stretched properly. This is in part because getting into the habit of stretching will improve your range of motion and flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout your muscle tissue. The effects of this are just as beneficial mentally as they are physically. Those who feel more loose and relaxed rather than tense and constricted will generally have a longer and more productive period of exercise.
Don’t forget that you should have a period of stretching both before and after your workout. In the heat of all that exercise, your muscles are doing a lot of contracting. A cooldown will get them back to a healthy resting state so that you can stay loose and flexible throughout the rest of your day. As for the pre-workout stretch, go for dynamic stretches rather than static ones. These prepare your tissues more thoroughly for what’s ahead while static activity tends to be better for the cooldown period. In either case, don’t worry about taking care of every single muscle, just focus on the ones that are the targets of your workout!
Vitality Fitness is Calgary’s go-to fitness centre for a community-driven workout. From warm-up to cool-down, our Boot Camp classes will get you the results you want in an atmosphere you’ll love. Get in touch at (587) 777-3378 today!