Regular workouts, no doubt are important to improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, workout injuries such as sprained ankle, shoulder injury, tendinitis and ACL tears are becoming more common. These injuries can be treated with the rest, ice, compression and elevation method (RICE), physical therapy or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Staying hydrated and practicing proper stretching techniques before and after your workout can improve your exercise routine. While stretching before a workout helps prevent injury and improves performance, stretching at the end of a workout helps prevent cramping, soreness, and muscle fatigue.
Stretching helps to get more out of your exercise. If you exercise right after waking up, your muscles will be tight. Stretching loosens them up while stimulating blood flow to the muscles. When stretching, it is critical to target all your muscles, maintain proper posture, and use dynamic moves.
Stretches done pre- and post-workout help to
- Improve flexibility
- Reduce stress, when stiff muscles become tension-free
- Prevent minor or severe injuries
- Improve muscle coordination and balance
- Increase blood circulation in your body
Before your workout, dynamic stretches are ideal for increasing blood flow, as you’re constantly moving. It loosens up the joints, tendons and ligaments through motion. Athletes often perform dynamic stretches like hip circles, walking lunges, and butt kicks, as these incorporate sports-specific movements and activate the muscle groups used in running. Along with reducing the risk of injury, it helps improve athletic performance and provides a cardio warm-up as well.
Ideal to be done at the end of your gym or workout session, static stretches focus on relaxing the muscles and promoting flexibility. It helps to maintain coordination and balance, and lengthen tight muscles, which can help with correct posture. Remember that stretching is as important as your workout and it is recommended not to skip this.
Just like stretching and training routines, hydration too is critical. Staying hydrated before, during and after your workout is necessary as dehydration can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, light-headedness, and headache. Enough water content in your body also helps to build a strong immune system and ensure all organs are functioning properly. You can also consider adding fresh lemon or lime juice to water, as they are packed with electrolytes.
While hydration and stretching can help avoid common sports or fitness-related injuries, sometimes accidents happen, which can be treated by consulting physicians at an experienced healthcare center. Reliable centers like HealthQuest offer diverse treatment modalities including rehabilitation programs, physical therapy, as well as Game Ready cold therapy system.