Guest Author - Carla Cano
Many people believe that walking is such a low impact form of exercise that stretching is not required. This is absolutely false. Anytime you workout your muscles need to be stretched afterward. There are several reasons to be sure to get your stretching done at the end of each walking session. Stretching after walking has so many feel good benefits it would be crazy not to incorporate it into your routine.
Improves Muscle Control
When stretching correctly your body begins to change from the inside out. Stretching improves flexibility by improving your range of motion. Your muscle become longer and stronger. Which means that your body is leaner and fitter. Stretching enables the muscles to strengthen around bones and joints to do their jobs which in turns gives you more control over your body. Your balance improves, your ability to move your body the way you want improves when stretching is incorporated into your walking routine. Having strength and control over your body will also create a self confidence that others will notice.
When working out your muscles contract and tighten. If you come in from a walk and do not stretch and lengthen those muscles out they do not react in their usual way. Your body can become stiff and sore, this makes doing other activities difficult. When you body is not working at its best injury tend to occur. You may hurt yourself by doing a simple task but because your body is tight and stiff it makes movements less fluid. Stretching after walking prevents injuries and stiffness.
Stretching is very relaxing. It often has a calming and soothing effect on individuals. It can give you a few moments to reflect on your workout and your health goals. It can be a time to become more in tune to what your body is saying to you. Stretching slows down your movements and you are concentrating on the actions of specific muscle groups. This helps you “listen” to what your body needs and what it is capable of doing. Stretching can be a time of meditation and reflection as well as being beneficial for your fitness, it doesn't get better than that.
Increased muscle control, prevention of injury and reduction of stress are just a few of the ways stretching after walking benefit your fitness goals. Whatever method of stretching you choose to do will be determined by several factors but it is important to do it correctly and safely. Protect yourself and your fitness routine by getting your stretching in after every workout.
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