Stretching is something you can easily do anytime, anywhere – in your home, your office, or even when you are traveling. Aim to stretch at least three times a week. If you can’t get a full work out in, you can still benefit from stretching at least that often.
Many experts believe that stretching may also reduce your risk of injury in sports. “The more prepared your muscles and joints are for an activity, the more protected you are against injury,” says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Laskowski explains, “If your joints are not able to go through their full range of motion because of muscle tightness, sports and exercise activities may put an excessive load on the tissue and contribute to injury.”
The many benefits of stretching include:
· Increased flexibility and better range of motion of your joints.
· Improved circulation.
· Better posture.
· Stress relief.
How to stretch.
· Warm up first by walking while pumping your arms.
· Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
· Don’t bounce.
· Focus on a pain free-stretch.
“Stretch as often as you exercise,” Dr. Laskowski recommends. “Most experts recommend a cool-down period anyway after exercises. Going into your stretches after your workout is a good way to cool down.”
So get moving!