Nutrition

The Horrifying Consequences Of Not Stretching

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man in tracksuit stretching on road black and white

Image: Unsplash

Often times it’s hard enough to squeeze a workout in, let alone time for stretching post workout. When we complete a workout on a busy day, it’s tempting to go on with our lives without stretching. Even worse, we convince ourselves we will do it later and never do. Is stretching really that vital to our health? The answer is yes, and if you skip out on stretching you could end up with some irreversible injuries.

The consequences of not stretching won’t be visible for awhile, which is why it’s easy to rank it with low priority. You can still build muscle, lose weight, and tone up without stretching and people will continue to compliment your on your fitness. But your ability to train will be cut short if you aren’t stretching daily. Long story short, stretching prolongs your years of engaging in physical activity and prevents injuries that could put you on the bench permanently.

You see if you keep making your muscles grow stronger while not stretching, then they’re also getting tighter and tighter as they increase in strength. This will eventually cause them to pull spontaneously leaving you in a ridiculous amount of pain. Have a desk job? If you’re sitting all day long, then you’re only reinforcing the consequences of not stretching. Sitting combined with a lack of stretching will lead to more muscle retraction. On the other hand, stretching keeps your muscle surfaces moving smoothly, which in turn allows for greater range of motion. When we don’t stretch, fibers build up on the muscle surfaces. Every time we sleep even more fibers gather. These fibers lead to a painful stiffness that eventually leads to injury if not treated daily.

Every muscle is connected, which means not stretching even one area that you worked can lead to tightness all over your body. This is why it is so important to stretch completely after every type of workout whether it be running or kickboxing. Save yourself at 10 minutes after each workout for stretching. Every stretch requires at least 20 seconds to actually benefit you. Try using a foam roller for further assistance if you already have tight muscles or if you are sore. Even on the days when you skip a workout make sure you spend some time stretching, your body will thank you. Lastly, if you don’t already do yoga now is the time to try it. One yoga class a week can completely detox and recharge your muscles so they’re reading for optimal fitness.

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of DailyBeautyHack.com, and the lifestyle editor at OhMyVeggies.com. When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke