Stretching…the most important part of a successful exercise program!

Whether you’re already on an exercise program, or starting a new one, proper stretching before and after is vital to your success. Stretching warms up your body, which makes it less prone to accidents and injuries. It increases joint and muscle flexibility making for a better workout. A good rule of thumb is that your stretches should be held between 15 and 30 seconds per repetition.

After you’ve exercised, stretching relieves muscle tightness, improves flexibility and cools down the body. You’ll find that after you exercise, your body will be able to stretch even further than it did before you exercised. Your after workout stretches should be held between 30 seconds and one minute. This will help you maintain full mobility without tightening up after the workout.

Always breathe normally when stretching, and concentrate on the stretch itself and on relaxing your body. Tension should be felt, but not discomfort. Don’t cheat! Yes, bouncing while you stretch is cheating!

If you stretch in a standing position, hold onto a steady object such as a chair to maintain balance and proper posture. Or keep your eyes focused on a point of interest to maintain the proper balance and posture to stay stable.

Stretching can be done almost anywhere and anytime. They can be done in any environment…whether working, shopping or going about your daily routine.

Best of all, stretching is calming and relaxing, and it gives you a sense of peace and well-being. It helps to prevent accidents and injuries during your workout, and improves your overall flexibility. It helps to tone your muscles, and enhances your balance and coordination. It improves your posture and reduces stress. So don’t cut corners…stretch every time you exercise, both before and after. It’s a great way to get loose. For peak fitness, be sure to include stretching in your daily routine.

Always make sure you consult your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program. Multi-Care Health will make sure that your program suits your fitness level, and keep you on track for peak health!