If you’re an active person, you’ve probably heard that you need to stretch and warm up before a workout, but do you know why? Many people assume that stretching and warming up are the same, but according to a physical therapist in Wyoming, they’re actually quite different. Here’s what you need to know about both of these activities:
Stretching on a regular basis can help improve your flexibility and increase your range of motion. Additionally, stretching can relieve tension that you may be holding in your muscles and make you feel less stressed out. It can also help you keep your muscles loose so you don’t feel any aches or pains after a tough workout. If you are experiencing pain related to bad posture, stretching can also help you realign your body so you can correct your posture problems and prevent future pain.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you stretch at least two times per week, and even more if you are elderly or exercising on a daily basis. It is best to think of stretching as something that should be part of your everyday life instead of limiting it to only before and after workouts. Learn how to stretch
Although many athletes often say they injured themselves because they forgot to stretch prior to a workout, they could be mistaken. Many injuries are actually caused by not properly warming up. What is warming up? Before engaging in any type of physical activity, you should get your body ready by starting off slow to gently engage each group of muscles and prepare them for a more strenuous workout. When you warm up, your heart rate starts to increase, which means your muscles will receive more nutrients and oxygen. Warming up also increases your body temperature, which leads to your muscles becoming more pliable, and thus lowering the risk of injury.
Although stretching and warming up both increase the flexibility of your muscles, warming up goes one step further by getting your whole body prepared for the workout. So, the next time you plan on working out, start off with low intensity cardio by speed walking or going for a slow jog. It’s best to warm up for about 10-15 minutes so your heart rate and temperature have enough time to increase and get your body ready for the work ahead. Getting into the habit of warming up before you exercise can keep you healthy and injury-free!
At North Platte Physical Therapy, we’re dedicated to helping clients prevent injuries as they enjoy their favorite physical activities. But accidents happen, so if you do injure yourself while exercising or because of an accident, contact North Platte Physical Therapy
to learn more about how we can help you recover. Our staff is praised throughout the Wyoming, and Nebraska areas for our commitment to our clients. We can fulfill comprehensive physical therapy services, and would be happy to customize a treatment plan for your personal needs.