You know the old saying, “Live and Learn”? Well, I want to share something with you today that I actually learned a long, long time ago. Although I’ve known this for a very long time, I made a big boo-boo last week and have paid for it since. I share this with you in hopes of helping you prevent making that same mistake.
When it comes to strength training (working with weights, machines, bands, etc.) you must always go into the workout warm and you must always stretch out those muscles afterwards. No matter how you feel when you’ve completed the workout – take time to stretch.
With my sabbatical from exercise the last few months (if you haven’t already, be sure to read last week’s post, I’m Just Like You), after several weeks of putting aerobic exercise back into my routine I decided it was time do add some strength training. And so I did! After approximately 30 minutes of working with weights, resistance bands and doing some core training, I finished, took a shower, got dressed for the day and went about my business. One very important element was left out…I did not stretch after my workout.
Quite honestly, I underestimated myself and didn’t feel like I had accomplished much. I couldn’t feel the burn and so therefore just assumed that I had not worked my muscles as much as they needed. Well, how ignorant I was, let me tell you! Six hours later, I knew differently! I spent the next two days paying for that ignorance. Walking, sitting, bending, doing just about anything, I felt. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those strange people who enjoys feeling sore muscles after a good workout. I believe in “no pain, no gain”. This wasn’t just a little muscle soreness. No, this was the kind that moans and groans came ushering out of my belly with every move! Did I injure myself? No, it was strictly extremely sore muscles that had been neglected for quite a while. However, I could have and that would have set me back much further than my sabbatical.
Stretching out is a very important part of the process of a good and thorough workout. Never neglect a good stretch while the muscles are still warm. It will not take you long and the benefits will be worth it.
The moral to this story? Always, always, always stretch after strength! Always!
Until next time, remember…
STRETCH and Let Your Light Shine,