After an intense workout it can be all too tempting to jump straight out of the gym and head home so you can relax. Exercise takes its toll on our bodies, and so it’s normal that we can’t wait to chill out post-workout. However, the steps you take once your workout has ended can make all the difference to the results you will see from regularly exercising, as well as the effect not looking after your body post-workout can have.
It is essential that after every workout session, no matter the type of exercise you participated in, that you make the time to stretch out your muscles. Stretching post-workout helps to boost your flexibility, reduce the risk of injury the next time you hit the gym, and also eases any muscle soreness or discomfort. Due to the importance of stretching post-workout we have put together 5 ways that you can stretch out your body and reap the benefits.
- Use equipment
- Go for a swim.
Yoga has become an increasingly popular activity in recent years, and has been found to reduce levels of stress while also boosting flexibility. It includes mindful activities such as breath control and meditation, leaving you with a more positive and happy mental health.
However, it is also a great way to stretch out your body post-workout in a way that is enjoyable and also beneficial to your health and wellbeing as a whole. Practicing yoga provides you with the opportunity to stretch out multiple areas of your body, or you can even target specific areas.
While the popularity of Pilates hasn’t quite been as strong as it has been for yoga, there are now more people taking part in this fairly modern 20th century fitness programme. Pilates is slightly more intense than yoga, and it aims to strengthen and tone the body, while also improving flexibility. Research has found that regularly taking part in Pilates can increase your flexibility by a staggering 20 percent, which makes it one of the best ways to stretch post-workout.
If you are sitting reading this thinking ‘I just don’t have time to attend a yoga or Pilates class after a workout”, then don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you can’t give your body the chance it needs to stretch it out. Instead, you can simply just make use of the space you have at home or at the gym to practice a few gentle stretches. By doing this, you can target specific muscles through the stretches you choose. For example, a hamstring stretch, or a calf stretch.
You can also combine your post-workout stretches with muscle recovery equipment to speed up the recovery process and boost your overall flexibility. Using the percussion massage gun uses pressure and short, sharp pulses of vibration technology to increase circulation, reduce muscle tightness, and help muscles recover quicker. Muscle recovery equipment allows you to enjoy all the benefits of massage therapy in the comfort of your own home.
Go for a swim
Another way that you can stretch out your body post-workout is by going for a relaxing swim. Not only will this help you feel more relaxed and calm after a heavy workout, but it is also a great way to stretch out your body without feeling the pressure. As we swim, we are working and stretching all areas of our body, which makes it a great way to target all your muscles in one go. Plus swimming can be lots of fun that all the family can enjoy!
Once you have stepped off the cross trainer or treadmill you will feel your muscles starting to tense up, which is why it is so important to stretch post-workout. But even by taking the time to cool down after an intense session, instead of simply heading home, you will boost your flexibility, ease pain and discomfort, and build stronger muscles.