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Why should I stretch after a workout if I'm a teen?

Daphne Oz
Health Education
It's crucial that you stretch after a workout. Stretching your muscles will help them get rid of lactic acid, a by-product of the processes that go on in your body to give you energy during a hard workout. A concentration of lactic acid can lead to muscle cramps. In any case, you want to be sure to stretch and drink plenty of water to flush this toxin out of your body and aid your muscles in the healing process. Many trainers believe that you should stretch both before and after your workout so that you have blood pumping through your muscles before you attempt any strenuous activity.

Stretching is not a quick plunge to touch the floor with your fingers and then back up. Nor is it a bouncing, bent-over version of the same thing. To really stretch, you need to hold three, thirty-second stretches in each form. Don't skip stretching because you don't mind (or maybe even like) feeling sore after a hard workout. Have no fear; you'll be able to feel the workout even after stretching (assuming you worked out hard enough). What you won't get if you don't stretch is nice, long, lean muscles. Not stretching can cause muscles to stay tight, adding bulk rather than length.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.