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  • Tips for Safe Stretching

    Stretching is an important part of any

    physical activity and everyday life.

    Top 10 Health Benefits of Stretching

    1. Reduces stress
    2. Improves posture
    3. Enables flexibility
    4. Increases stamina
    5. Decreases risk of injury
    6. Improves energy levels
    7. Promotes blood circulation
    8. Improves athletic performance
    9. Reduced soreness
    10. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. Go for symmetry
      • Aim to get equal flexibility on each side.
    3. Focus on major muscle groups
      • Calves, thighs, hips, lower back, chest, neck and shoulders.
    4. Don’t bounce
      • Make smooth movements.  Bouncing as you stretch can injure  your muscle and actually contribute to muscle tightness.
    5. 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.
    6. Be consistent