Some people don’t think that stretching is very important and skip this step routinely in their workout to save time. That isn’t a good idea. When you work out you tense and relax your muscles to strengthen them. They end up in a sort of “at attention” state when you are through. They need to be stretched out to return them to a regular working state from a state of high alert. If you don’t want to bother you might be letting yourself in for some unpleasant side effects.
“Charlie Horses” and other cramps are something I used to suffer with after working out until I fit stretching into my regular routine. It just feels good, too. Some of the more important stretches I do after my workouts include: shoulder muscles, hamstrings, and quads. Those are the ones which are big and do a lot of work during an average workout. It feels great to “pull them out” and put them back to their normal mode.
One serious story about stretching was that I started to get a very bad pain on the TOP of my foot after cardio activity. It felt like a ten penny nail was being driven into it about 3 inches in front of my big toe where several bones came together in a knob. I went to a podiatrist who declared I had a bone spur from arthritis, said nothing could be done about it and gave me a Cortisone shot to try to ease the pain.
Much to my distress, the shot was supposed to last about 2 weeks and it didn’t get through 3 days of exercises. I had another appointment with another foot surgeon for a consult. He was a sports doctor who listened, asked some good questions and told me that my problem was the Achilles tendon which was shrinking. If I stretched it out by standing on a step and letting it stretch I would probably be pain free. Otherwise, there wasn’t much he could do.
I figured I didn’t have anything to lose so I did the stretches and the pain is GONE!. I am back to working out and pain free. So, I am passing that along to you. Give that a try if you have heel pain, too. It’s a real common problem with a real easy solution. Google “Achilles tendon stretches”, there are a lot of styles but they all do the same thing. I do them every day and no pain any more!