Let’s talk about stretching. yes, stretching, that old friend you promised you’d grab coffee with, but then life just kept getting in the way. hey that’s okay, but it’s time to shift the narrative. while stretching is often overlooked and seen as a “bonus” or “optional” aspect of fitness, it is actually an essential component that helps to ensure sustainability in your workout practices. let’s jump in and look at some benefits:
injury prevention. during a ness workout, whether it’s a high intensity, low impact bounce class, or a sweaty sculpt session, the heart rate naturally rises. this increase in heart rate affects the circulation of blood flow to the muscles. by implementing a cool-down after a workout, the heart rate safely and effectively returns back to its natural state. this return to normalcy, in both the respiratory and circulatory systems, is a major component to injury prevention.
decreased soreness. in addition to preventing injury, why not also diminish muscle soreness and fatigue while we’re at it? stretching post-workout allows for decreased lactic acid build-up (the major cause for sore muscles) and thus will have you showing up, day-after-day, for your workouts feeling your absolute best. this is so important because when achieving one’s fitness goals, consistency is a huge factor. a daily stretch allows for a decreased likelihood of hitting a rut due to feelings of exhaustion, sluggishness, and fatigue, and instead, will have you back on that trampoline, or mat, feeling refreshed, strong, and eager to work.
mental clarity. perhaps one of the most important benefits of stretching incorporates that mind-body connection we truly swear by here at the ness. just as our beat-based choreography challenges one to remain present, both mentally and physically, stretching offers this same harmonious compatibility of mind and body. stretching acts as a reset: a time to fully honor all of the hard work that you just dedicated for yourself, an opportunity to check in with your breath, a meditative moment to let go of all of the effort exerted and to simply be.
ultimately, remember that the workout isn’t over when the “work” ends. so before your mind has a chance to wander off too far and before your google calendar starts pinging non-stop, get into the habit of clicking that stretch focus video on ness digital. take those 5-10 minutes to actually finish your workout and cool-down. take them daily; your mind and body will thank you.