Stretching has so many benefits for your body! Before and after every exercise it is crucial to perform dynamic and static stretches. Static stretching allows you to hold a position for a join or muscle and create a bit of a challenge by increasing tension of the muscle and allowing for a stretch. This type of stretching is usually preformed post-workout. Stretching can decrease muscle tension,increase joint range of motion, increase blood flow circulation in your body, and DOMS. DOMS stands for Delays Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS is the feeling of those soreness you feel 24-28 hours after an intense exercise. As much as I love feeling sore after a work out (that’s how I know it was a GOOD workout) I know that stretching has many other benefits required for optimal recovery and performance. For me stretching is my favourite part of the workout. After all the intense movements and activities your body goes through in a workout, a good stretch allows your body to breath, relax, and slowly decrease your heart rate.
You know that awesome feeling when you wake up in the morning after a great sleep, and the first thing you do is stretch? Well that’s the exact feeling I get after a great workout when I cool down and stretch. It decreases the stress in your body and allows you to relax. The harder the workout the better the cool down feels.
Stretching doesn’t always need to be done after a workout. You can perform stretches anytime of the day even after a long day at work. I’m sure your body is stiiff from sitting in a chair all day, or from the hustle and bustle of fighting through rush-hour traffic or standing on a bus for an extended period of time. What I like most about stretching is it can be very relaxing. I like to grab a yoga mat or a carpet and pull it in front of the television after a long and stressful day and stretch while winding down watching my favourite show on Netflix, which is usually a strong debate of reruns between Friends or The Mindy Project.
What are you waiting for? Get Stretching!