Any good fitness instructor will leave a few minutes at the end of a class for stretching. That's usually when a few rushed students quietly gather up their belongings and dash out the door. If this is you, here's a reminder to stay for the stretch. While you may be thinking about not having to wait in line for the showers or getting a head start on your locker room routine, those few last minutes are actually an integral part of the whole workout. Stretching warmed up muscles after exercise increases your flexibility, which helps reduce the risk of injury. So stay the extra minutes; your body will thank you!
Don't have time to stay till the end? Don't forget to do your own stretches during your next workout. Make sure you do these soon after you finish so you won't be stretching your muscles cold. Here are some great stretches to do after cycling or spin class or after a run.