We are a month into 2023, and it is that time when it becomes harder to stick to our New Year’s resolutions. A common resolution that people make is to get more active or to really bump up their workout routines. For adults, the CDC recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, as well as 2 days per week of muscle strengthening exercise. However, sometimes this goal can be hard to reach even when making a resolution. Some reasons why individuals may start to fall off their new workout routine include extreme soreness, stiffness and even injury. Many of these issues can be improved or eliminated just by implementing a great stretching routine around your exercise.
There are many benefits to stretching before and after a workout. Here are some of the top reasons why including stretching in your regular workout routine could be beneficial:
- Improved performance during workouts.
- Decrease your risk of developing injuries.
- Improve joint mobility.
- Increased blood flow to your muscles.
- Decrease soreness post workout.
Stretching and mobility work are important parts of a balanced workout routine, but it is also important that you are including stretching in a way that is safe and effective. Here are some of our top tips for creating a great stretching routine:
- Do a 5–10-minute light warmup before doing your pre-workout stretching.
- Hold your stretches for 30 to 60 seconds and make sure not to bounce.
- Make sure you are stretching the same on both sides of your body.
- Keep the routine going and stretch regularly for the most benefits.
- Aim for tension, but not pain.
Now that you have more information, you could start including light stretches in your routine today. Don’t think of it as adding another resolution, just include it in your current workout routine or movement goals. Stretching before and after your workouts could help you stay on track with your movement goals and even help keep you moving for years to come. Looking for more guidance on how to make and keep some health and wellness goals? Reach out to our Hy-Vee dietitian team to learn more about scheduling a free Discovery Session.
*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
About the Registered Dietitian
Alea Lester Fite, MS, RD, LD, received her bachelor’s degrees from the University of Minnesota in Spanish and biology and her master’s degree with coordinating internship program at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Nutrition and Dietetics. Alea has always had a passion for health and fitness, participating in competitive sports for most of her life. She found that she loved inspiring and helping people make healthy changes. Alea started seeing a registered dietitian when she was having her own digestive health issues and realized that she enjoyed learning about and working with food.