The Importance of Stretching

The Importance of Stretching

Now more than ever, there has been an increase in working out. The general population is becoming more interested in strength training. There are a variety of videos online, apps on mobile phones, and personal trainers to guide you. Even with all of these great resources, people sometimes forget the importance of recovering. Without enough rest, your body will not be able to recover to build the right amount of muscle.

While there is no cure for this muscle soreness, there are a lot of ways in which one can alleviate the pain.

What you can do right after working out:

After the work out, take 10-15 minutes to cool down. Stretching promotes circulation in the body which will help your muscles to recover from any soreness. An added benefit from stretching is improved flexibility. Increased flexibility prevents injuries and can promote better form when exercising.

What happens when our muscles are sore:

When we work out, our muscles experience small tears. Before our muscles can become stronger, they must go through a healing process. With sufficient rest, nutrients and time, your muscles will be on their way to healing nicely. To make sure that you allow your muscles to rest, you should alternate the duration and frequency of exercise for each muscle group.

How do I ensure I get the right amount of rest for my muscle groups?

Train your major muscle groups on separate days. For example, you might do arms and shoulders on a Sunday, Monday you can do glutes and legs, and on Tuesday you might do core. Alternate between these days to give your muscles ample amount of time to recover. It might even take a little over a week for your muscles to recover, which might mean you have to take a longer gap between weightlifting.

If you would still like to be active during this rest time, you can walk, swim, or do some simple stretching. Other activities like light yoga that are not so high intensity may be done as well.

Why is there sometimes a delay before I feel pain in my muscles?

Delayed onset of muscle soreness, also known as DOM, is very common when you lift weights. This can occur up to 24-48 hours after exercising. This pain is from the micro tears in the muscles from lifting weights.

In addition to resting, it is crucial to practice proper form while lifting weights. If you are new to weightlifting, work on your form before lifting weights to avoid injury. Otherwise, have a trainer supervise you to ensure that you lift using the correct technique. We all want to be in shape and look as good as we can, but it is important to remember to take it easy- because remember, your health first!