Stretching before, after workouts will keep your fitness progress on track

By Rich

Without a doubt, most of us are stressed for time and in a hurry to cross that next daily task off our always-growing ‘to-do’ lists. So, who has time to stretch properly after a workout?

I know I’ve skipped out on some important post-workout stretching and I’m pretty sure you have too. Let’s take a look at why we shouldn’t. 

The injury avoidance from stretching is well worth the extra time and best implemented at the end of your workout. Post-workout, your muscles are already warmed up and you’ve broken them down from your exercise, increasing blood flow and allowing more oxygen-rich blood to enter the muscle tissue and begin the rebuilding process. Stretching helps speed this process.

Another benefit of stretching is that it by lengthening tight muscles, it speeds recovery time after any workout, thus allowing you to continue your fitness-building regimen without unnecessary downtime.

Stretching also helps us avoid injury, so it’s also a good idea to stretch somewhat before you workout as well.

Many of us are bound to a desk for eight or more hours per day. That can take a toll on our bodies. So make sure to make time to get up, stretch, walk around a bit, and regain good posture.

In and of itself stretching can prevent injury, strengthen muscle tone, speed muscle healing and recovery. So make time — say 5-7 minutes or so — to stretch before and after your workout.

Rich is a former U.S. Army infantryman and member of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The “Old Guard”) who responded to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, as our nation was attacked by international terrorists. He is co-founder of Survival Legion, a vet-owned company that stresses functional fitness and draws it’s uniqueness from the Roman Legions.

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