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Some Tips on How to Stretch Properly
Stretching is a good way to improve mobility and flexibility, as well as to avoid muscle soreness.
Here are some tips for how to stretch properly:
1. Stretch for 10 to 15 minutes every day. Regular stretching helps to improve balance, strength and overall flexibility. If you can, do gentle stretching a 2 to 3 times a day especially if you are in a fixed or sedentary position alot.
2. Get advice to avoid injury. Check with your doctor or health professional before stretching if you have an injury, are unsure of how to stretch properly or have had a previous injury.
3. Warm up your muscles before stretching. Try 10 minutes of gentle exercise like walking. Stretching cold muscles may result in injury.
4. Hold a sustained stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Hold the stretch and do not bounce alot when stretching. Over-stretching can cause muscle to contract and create small tears in the fibres.
5. Only stretch to the point of mild discomfort. Once your muscle feels comfortable, increase the stretch then hold it again. Feeling tension and tightness can be normal, but if it hurts, you’re pushing too hard.
6. Breathe normally when stretching. Don’t try to hold your breath, don’t breath too fast or perform special breathing exercises. Just breathe normally and relax.
7. Balance your routine. Work opposing muscle groups each time you stretch. If you start by stretching the muscles in the back of your thigh, then follow by stretching the muscles at the front of your thigh. Balance is important.
8. Add Variety. If you get bored easily, you can add variety to your stretching routine. For example, you could join a yoga class or visit your local physiotherapist or personal trainer for new stretches.
9. Include stretching in your daily routine. Gentle stretching can improve your circulation and a steady blood flow helps reduce muscle tension and soreness. Take little breaks from your work and do little stretches. You will feel better overall.
10. Make stretching part of your other warm-up and cool-down activities. It will help put you in the right frame of mind before exercise and help you relax afterwards. Stretching is just as important as exercise, if not more. Stretching keeps your muscles limber and can help prevent aches and pain after exercise. Make sure to take the time out to stretch!