Sore After a Run or Workout? 2 Important Reasons to Always Stretch

stretching
Image by: Pixabay User: tpsdave
By: Giovanni Fields

There’s no better way to ensure an effective workout than to manage a nice wholesome warm up regime which propels you into your vigorous routine. To some it may seem unnecessary, or even pointless to dedicate a portion of their lives to stretching or lifting “lightweights”, but those smart enough to distinguish themselves from this group would be able to tell you that the act of warming up greatly increases strength capacity, flexibility, and reduces injury.

What? You say you’re a man so you don’t have to be flexible? Sorry, pal, but unless you want to end up either in the hospital, or suffer unnecessary injuries I’d suggest you throw on some yoga pants and assume the downward dog. Okay maybe you don’t have to take it that far, but if you think it will help you build some muscle then hey, why not go for it.

The concept of “warming up” exists for a reason. Why do you think before you have sex you kiss, grope, hug and lick? Because you are actively warming your partner in preparation for the grand finale. Most people don’t just invite a woman over and mount her within the first few seconds of getting her into your apartment. Of course not, you have to set the tone—essentially warming her (and yourself) up.

And before you ask, yes I did just correlate the act of stretching with foreplay. Because that’s what warming up is! Foreplay for your body.

So before you head into the gym and jump directly into that 305 pound bench press, I’d suggest you have a glance below.

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#1) Prevents Injury

The most devastating blow to all athletes, consistent gym goers or every day people are various possible injuries which could leave you stagnant. Think about how many body parts you have functioning simultaneously and how many chances you have of something going wrong with every physical action you take, in or out of the gym. You can pull a hamstring whilst chasing your dog around the house, tear a muscle while lifting furniture, or blow out a knee with a simple lunge, and the list goes on. Scary right? Well, what if I were to tell you that you can minimize your chances of injury with just one simple thing?

I’ve got your attention now, huh. Well good, listen closely: The act of warming up prevents muscle strains, joint strains, and reduces back problems and muscle soreness. And the best part is you don’t have to be an athlete to reap these benefits, even if you’re a couch potato who barely leaves the house, stretching on a daily basis can do wonders for your overall health.

With that being said, stretching is even more important for those who are active. I can tell you this because I know from experience. I was once one of those guys who looked down upon the man in daisy dukes lunging around the gym with glistening, hairless legs. Yea, I’d laughed at the guy bending over and touching his toes amid testosterone laden grunts. I laughed my ass off, actually, until the days where I started feeling pains in my wrists, elbows, shoulders, and knees.

Sooner or later, as I’d done my research on how to ease said pains, I found myself mimicking the people that were seemingly embarrassing themselves, and now I’m the guy lunging around the gym with shorts so short you can probably see my pubic hair if you looked close enough. Yes, to your dismay I purposely  exaggerated a bit there, but the bottom line is that I was forced to learn overtime to stretch, namely because injuries are no fun.

#2) More Results

 It’s been scientifically proven that if you warm up before doing any physical activity, you will see greater results than not. I’m sure that little tidbit alone is enough to convince you to go ahead and do some jumping jacks before this evenings session , but since I’m so generous I’ll proceed and explain why. Warming up does three things particularly that contribute to greater physical performance: it promotes circulation of blood in the muscles, prepares the body for strenuous exercise, and increases the learning, practice, and performance (repetitions) of many types of skilled movements.

As you can probably imagine, the combination of this trio would eventually come together to create the perfect rep. By warming the muscles up you will be increasing flexibility, which will provide you with a greater muscle contraction, which basically means more muscle fibers will be torn in the chest for example doing a dumbbell press. The more muscle fibers torn, the more that needs to be recovered, and the more recovered the more success your efforts will have! So if you’ve been having trouble seeing any results, you know know what the problem is.

Well it could be a number of things I’m really not supposed to get into today like protein intake, sleep, blah blah…I’ll save that for another article, now get out there and do some stretching!

Got a horrible injury you had to overcome due to your own ignorance as to the importance of warm ups? Don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there! Share your painful experience below and we’ll try our best to ease your pain.

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