Although regular physical exercise is incredibly healthy and beneficial for the human body, it still has to be said that, if done incorrectly, or if not taken seriously, exercise can be incredibly dangerous and bad for you. Stay educated on injury prevention to stay active for years to come.Although there are many, many benefits associated with physical exercise, there are also a few risks to be aware of, mainly injury. Before we start a strenuous physical endeavor or fitness program, we ought to first take the time to ensure that we stretch our muscles, loosen up, and properly warm up. Failing to stretch and warm up before exercising, can result in severe cramping, or a pulling a muscle. Even worse it is possible to tear a muscle or tendon, which would be an incredibly painful and debilitating recovery process. OK enough of the gloomy stuff now lets take a look at the amazing benefits of stretching and its use in injury prevention.
When we think about strength training exercises and techniques, more often than not, we think about exercises and workouts that are based primarily around heavy weights and resistance machines. What you may not have previously considered however, is the fact that stretching prior to your workout, can actually make your muscles stronger and more powerful. You see, stretching helps to enhance blood flow and circulation to the muscles. This means that more oxygen, nutrients, and energy can be carried via the blood, to the muscle cells, which in turn will make the muscles more efficient before they fatigue.
After we workout, we experience what is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, also known as DOMS. DOMS can be very painful and can make future training sessions very difficult. Another benefit of stretching your muscles regularly, is the fact that the increased blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient transportation as a result, can speed up the post-workout recovery process after you train. The muscles need oxygen, energy, and nutrients so that they can repair themselves and recover after you exercise, so the more they can absorb, the quicker the recovery process will be.
If you’re not very flexible, try stretching your muscles on a regular basis, even if you aren’t about to exercise and work out. Stretching helps to improve the elasticity of muscle fibers, which in turn makes them more flexible. As we grow older, our muscles become shorter, and tighter, which greatly hinders flexibility and range of motion. By stretching the muscle fibers and enhancing elasticity, range of motion increases, which helps make you more flexible and supple.
OK, we know that stretching is essential for injury prevention during exercise, but what we may not know, is exactly why that is. As mentioned, stretching improves the elasticity of muscle fibers, and helps to make the muscles stronger in the process. Instead of muscle fibers being short and pulled tight, they are instead longer and more flexible, which makes it tougher for them to become damaged. To prevent muscle tears and pulls, make sure you stretch before, and after, a workout.
Continue reading with the following great article on “The benefits of following a beginner fitness program“. Also, checkout more workout information in our Exercising category.