For some, stretching may not be a part of your training routine. Here is why you should consider adding it to your workout.

Stretching is a great way to increase the flexibility of your muscles, increase oxygen flow, reduce lactic acid build up and can help reduce your heart rate gradually after a workout.

Let’s explore these further.

Having flexibility for your muscles is key for many reasons, as we are reliant on them each and everyday. From sitting to standing, running, walking and of course working out. Naturally, before we start working out our muscles are in a pre-workout state, and thus, we have to awaken them and prepare them for the work out. Flexibility will help increase the range of motion, from your starting point to your end point, giving you a better result. It also helps prevent injury from any intense workouts you may be doing, thus improving the longevity of your muscles.

Stretching helps increase the blood flow in your body, which allows a better intake of oxygen, and oxygen helps produce ATP energy. Your body obtains oxygen from the air you breathe and enters your blood stream which is carried to the muscles. The oxygen then helps to breakdown glucose to create fuel called ATP energy. The more intense the workout, the more oxygen is required. The added benefit of increased oxygen also helps in reducing aches and pains during exercise.

We all produce Lactic Acid from the moment we start exercising, stretching helps reduce the Lactic Acid build up in your muscles. The more oxygen we take in, the less Lactic acid build up we will likely have. But as our workouts increase in intensity, the less oxygen we may have to complete the conversion of glucose, resulting in the substance called Lactate. Our bodies can convert the lactate into energy, but our bodies cannot burn it off fast enough. The result is the increase of Lactic Acid in our blood stream.

Stretching can also help gradually reduce your heart rate after an intense workout, which decreases the pressure on the heart, and thus signalling the body that is time to rest and start the healing process.

Go on, add stretching to your routine.