Tips for Safe Stretching
Stretching is an important part of any
physical activity and everyday life.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Stretching
- Reduces stress
- Improves posture
- Enables flexibility
- Increases stamina
- Decreases risk of injury
- Improves energy levels
- Promotes blood circulation
- Improves athletic performance
- Reduced soreness
- Reduces cholesterol
Stretching incorrectly can actually do more harm than good.
Before beginning a stretching routine, make sure you’re prepared and know how to execute each stretch and have a safe space to do so.
- Stretching is PART of your warm-up
- Before stretching, warm-up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for 5-10 minutes.
- Perform a Dynamic Warm-up. That involves performing movements similar to those in your sport or activity at a low level and gradually increasing speed and intensity as your body gets warm.
- Go for symmetry
- Aim to get equal flexibility on each side.
- Focus on major muscle groups
- Calves, thighs, hips, lower back, chest, neck and shoulders.
- Don’t bounce
- Make smooth movements. Bouncing as you stretch can injure your muscle and actually contribute to muscle tightness.
- Hold your stretch
- Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and breath normally.
- Stretching should be uncomfortable at most. If you feel pain, back off to where you don’t feel any pain and hold there.
- Be consistent