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Some people debate which is more important, but studies show that stretching before and after a workout is crucial for physical health. 

Stretching before a workout makes your body more pliable so that you can move freely for your routines. Stretching after a workout helps your body move out excess lactic acid, which accumulates from exercise. 

Learn more about why it’s important to stretch before and after a workout below with these four reasons.

Reduce Muscle Tension

Stretching before and after a workout can reduce muscle tension. Tension will ultimately lead to muscle soreness, so stretching prevents you from unnecessary pain post-workout. 

Focus on the muscle groups associated with your gym plan. For instance, if it’s leg day, you’ll want to make sure your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves get a good stretch. 

Stretching also prevents you from experiencing pain in the future. When your muscles are tense, they tighten and become less effective. The stress then gets put on your joints and tendons. You may experience future issues such as back pain, knee grating, or tendonitis. 

Avoid Strains 

Avoiding strains is a commonly known reason why it’s important to stretch before and after a workout. Joint and muscle strains are painful repercussions of poor stretching. 

Stretching before a workout makes your body flexible, decreasing your risk of strains or injuries like shin splints. Stretching after a workout is even more important. 

As soon as you exercise, lactic acid builds up in your body. It can make muscles fatigued and sore if you don’t stretch to release it afterwards.

Improve Circulation

Stretching also improves circulation. Doctors suggest stretching daily for that very reason, and doing it before and after a workout is equally important. 

Exercise also affects your circulation, as your heart rate and blood pressure increase. By stretching before and after a workout, you’re helping your body circulate blood more efficiently.

Increase Relaxation

Stretching can get your mind ready for your workout simply through the relaxation it brings. Many people say they experience less anxiety, more focus, and increased endurance when they stretch first. 

Stretching after your workout brings your heart rate and blood pressure back down, so it’s equally soothing. Many different types of stretches specifically increase relaxation: bear hugs, neck stretches, low lunges, and yoga poses such as child's pose can be calming. 

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