Stretching is often the first thing to go when you have a limited amount of time to work out. Here are some reasons why flexibility training is essential.
- Reduce pain and stiffness
- Decrease stress
- Improve your performance in physical activities
- Improve range of motion
- May reduce risk of injury
- Improved quality of life
The great thing about stretching is that you can do it anywhere!
Just follow these tips to do it safely and effectively:
- Do NOT consider stretching a warm-up. You can pull a muscle by stretching muscles that have not been warmed up.
- Always warm up before stretching by doing activities such as walking or biking for about 10 minutes. It is best to stretch at the end of your workout.
- Stretching should never be painful. You should feel some mild tension.
- Focus on symmetry. Try to get tighter sides as flexible as the more flexible side.
- Don’t bounce during stretching. You could injure yourself.
- Just hold your stretches for 30 secs to 1min, doing 2-4 sets on tighter sides or muscle groups.
- Stretch regularly – at least 2-3 times per week.
Attached is a PDF that includes 5 Stretches you can try at home with photos to help you follow along, as well as Fitness Instructor, Liz DellaPorta's contact information if you have specfic questions.
This document is not a substitute for your care team's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.