When you’re running low on time, stretching before and after your workout takes a backseat — who would want to cut a cardio or strength training session short when stretching can be easily thrown to the wayside, right? While it’s easy to dismiss stretching as an accessory to an awesome workout, it’s vital to remember how important it is.
Here are five bad things that can happen to your body if you choose to skip stretching.
1. Increased muscle tightness
Stretching after you’re finished exercising is an excellent way to increase your flexibility and range of motion, but the opposite is also true if you decide not to stretch after your hour at the gym. When you’ve finished your long run or HIIT workout, your body will feel tense or tight. And after a particularly difficult workout, you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness that can be felt between 24 and 72 hours after you’re workout is done.