If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to hone in on workouts that burn as many calories as possible. For many people, this means cardio, cardio, cardio. While it’s true that cardio can help burn calories and contribute to losing weight, trainers say it would be a mistake to make it your only focus. Strength training and rest also play important roles in losing weight in a healthy way. And do you know what else does? Stretching.
Many people don’t think of stretching as contributing to weight loss, but there are several ways that it does exactly that. Here, trainers explain exactly how and give five simple stretches to work into your routine.
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How Is Stretching Connected to Weight Loss?
“The reason stretching is so important in one’s weight loss journey is the simple fact that stretching will keep your joints and muscles feeling good,” says Cobi Hopkins, CPT, a personal trainer and the corporate director of training and exercise at StretchU, a full-body assisted stretching company that provides one-to-one assisted stretching. “If your body is feeling good, you’ll be much more motivated to exercise and keep up with your program,” he adds.
This makes complete sense when you think about it. It can be tempting to jump into a new workout routine and go hard every single day. But doing this doesn’t allow the body to recover properly. And when you don’t feel good, you’re more likely to give up on your workout goals completely. “While there are many factors that contribute to how efficient you are at burning calories, having strong and happy muscles can play a major part in this,” medical exercise specialist Melissa McGuire, MES, says. “Your muscles are happy when they have good flexibility and a healthy range of motion at every joint.”
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In addition to keeping the body feeling good, both trainers say that stretching can help with muscle growth. “When we lift weights, we tear muscles down. To actually build muscle, we need to recover from that exercise, and stretching helps enhance …….