Stretching after a workout can easily become a neglected practice. But cooling down your muscles is important after exercise—no matter how vigorous the routine. The few minutes you spend stretching allows your heart rate to slow and your body to recover properly.
If the only time you think about stretching is after a workout, you’re missing out on additional opportunities to reap the benefits of what this simple, yet powerful practice has to offer. Stretching keeps your muscles well-nourished by promoting healthy blood flow and fluid exchange.
There are certain types of stretches that complement a cardio routine best. Consider these before-and-after workout options the next time you gear up for a heart-pumping exercise session.
Getting on a bike is a fun way to burn calories, increase your aerobic fitness and even reduce stress. But just like any other type of exercise, it’s important to stretch your muscles before and after your ride to help your body properly warm up and cool down.
Spending five to 10 minutes (both before and after your practice) stretching the muscles and joints that get worked during a typical yoga session can improve your flexibility and help prevent injury and soreness.
While stretching plays a role in helping us exercise safely and perform daily tasks with ease, taking a few moments to extend your hardworking muscles can also help protect them, improve your range of motion and flexibility, reduce stiffness and even minimize stress.