Do not take the shortcut route and skip warming up and stretching after play.
If you are an active person or like to stay active and fit this article will be very beneficial for you.
If your day comprises playing sports or even doing physically exerting exercises, then you should definitely start with a good warm up and end with proper stretching.
The most important reason behind a good warm-up is to prevent any kind of injury.
During the process of warming up, the temperature of one’s body tends to increase. This prepares the body for the more strenuous activity that is going to follow.
Warming up is like a signal to our cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal system that it should prepare itself for of hectic and vigorous activity.
Warming up also alerts the body and increases the functional potential of one’s body. Warmups should be low intensity as it activates the muscles gradually which eventually will help in the muscles to get ready for what is to come next
This also increases blood flow in the body which raises the body temperature and slightly gets the muscles and ligaments heated in anticipation of the activity that will follow. Hence it is important that during our warmup we do sweat a bit. This is a sign that the core temperature of one’s body has increased.
Besides this, the risk of injuries is reduced too. Muscles pulls and tears are less likely to occur. In fact, muscle efficiency and performance, on the whole, tends to increase.
The duration of one’s warmup is subjective to each person as each person may be warming up for different reasons.
A decent warmup will last about 5-10 minutes.
This video will guide you to show you what a good warmup looks like:
After exercising or playing a sport, do not just pack your things and go home. Take out some time to stretch and cool down. This is important as well. Neglecting this will result in certain issues over a period of time.
Various stretches benefit people in various ways, but in my opinion, it is always better to stretch all the major and minor muscles in our body.
During our workout or play, our muscles tend to break down. The next day there will be stiffness and maybe soreness. Stretching helps in reducing this.
Another important thing is during physical exertion, there is a build up of lactic acid. Stretching helps in eliminating this acid.
Stretching also improves blood flow. While stretching lets the body cool down it also allows the heart rate to come down to normal and helps the blood to circulate throughout the muscles once again.
Muscle flexibility improves during stretching which is very good for people who like to physically be active or play sports. Flexible muscles, in this case, is a very big advantage. It is easier to perform a lot of exercises when you have flexibility in your muscles.
To an extent, stretching helps in preventing any kind of muscular pain. It doesn’t irradiate pain but helps in minimising it.
One other really important benefit of stretching that people do not tend to realise is that stretching helps in strengthening the mind-body connection and even gives a person who has undergone physical exertion some kind of mental clarity.
It helps in relaxing a person and their mood. It also reduces stress.
This video will give you a good idea as to how your stretching should look like:
All in all, if you are physically exerting yourself, you should take out time to warm up and stretch well so that in the long term you do not encounter unnecessary injuries.