Running is an active exercise. It is also the most basic and traditional type of activity. Throughout hundreds of years, running which started as an Olympic sport has now grown to regular everyday races and challenges. However, games and exercises like running can cause injuries like a pulled hamstring or a sprained ankle. Therefore, stretching before scaling a course is essential. Stretching before a run is scientifically proven to help improve your performance during a race by a substantial amount. Warming up before a heated race and after can ensure that you don’t have any sore limbs.
Why Are Stretches Important?
Stretches are not just essential but an essential. This is because they not only relieve stress but also helps in keeping muscles loose and flexible. Without regular exercise, our muscles would dry up and become tight. When you don’t stretch them, you consistently put your muscles and joints at risk, as they struggle to support body weight. David Nolan, a physical therapist at Harvard, says that muscles need to be stretched on an everyday basis. Going on long periods without pulling them, you are at high risk of injuries. If you extend your muscles suddenly, you may damage the muscle, which in turn will injure your joints.
An example of this is sitting on a chair. When you sit on a chair, your hamstrings are pulled tight, and when you stand up they cannot expand to their limit, so when you suddenly stretch them, by standing quickly, you may end up damaging the joint and muscle. Stretching your muscles regularly can be beneficial in looking after your muscles. Stretching your muscles and improving their flexibility and strength takes time, it cannot be done in one day. For the long-term benefits of flexible muscles and injury-free living, it I buts recommended that light stretches are performed every day, even if you don’t run.
Stretching a Requirement for Runners
Irrespective of the sport you engage in, stretching is essential. Stretching before a race can loosen your joints and relieve them of stress, which can impact the way that you run. Loosening your joints can increase your performance and help your muscles work better. You can perform better by stretching out your hamstrings, calves, thighs and lower back, as these muscles are used the most during running. Stretching your shoulders and arms help in gaining speed during a race. Before you decide on a stretching program by yourself, it is advised that you check with your local physical therapist for a plan for your body type specifically. Before your workout, it is essential that you warm up slightly so that no tears occur in your muscles. After your workout or race, it is crucial that you stretch again. During your exercise or competition, your tissues will secrete lactic acid and heat. Therefore, stretching them can help in expelling tension. You can do this by extending your hamstrings, legs and back again. Not only does this help in discharging stress, but it also helps in making sure that you don’t have any sore muscles when you begin to relax, and lactic acid is released.