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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stretch it Out

Top: Pure Barre / Bra: Splits 59 / Bottoms: Splits 59 / Socks: Pure Barre / Bracelets: Lily & Laura

After a good workout there's nothing I love more than to stretch my muscles out. I consistently see others at the gym skip this amazing moment after they built up a sweat. Today I want to talk about the importance of stretching after a workout. Let's start our discussion with an analogy.....

 Think of your muscle as a spaghetti noodle. When the noodle is uncooked it's stiff and brittle. It can break once tension is placed. When the noodle is warmed and cooked, it's more flexible/elastic. Just like the uncooked noodle, if you stretch before a workout it can lead to injury. After a workout the muscle is warm, and stretching leads to lengthening the muscle.

Now lets talk a little science........YIPEE!
During high intensity exercise your muscle uses anaerobic respiration, meaning without oxygen. The end product of anaerobic respiration is lactic acid. Sound familiar?  Lactic acid then builds up in the bloodstream and muscles. If the muscle isn't stretched out, then it becomes shortened, and the lactic acid/by-products gives the muscle the "pumped up" effect. After stretching out, the lactic acid is loosened and released out of the muscle. This then promotes lean muscle growth.

Whenever stretching the most important thing to remember is to listen to your own body. Don't push yourself to the point where it becomes uncomfortable. I hope that this promotes you to add that extra time to your workout to relax, and enjoy your stretch.

Next time I see you I'll be in Hawaii, so Aloha!

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