Stretching Dos & Don'ts
Begin with a proper warm-up.
Aim for a daily stretching regimen.
Hold your stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Reach only as far as you feel comfortable.
Stretch both sides of your body, side to side and up/down.
Bounce while stretching, which can cause muscle strain or tears.
Push yourself too far.
Hold your breath as you reach.
Ignore pain. You shouldn't feel any pain while stretching.
Stretch: Focus on Flexibility
Reach for the sky — or reach for your toes. Now, more than ever, try to set aside time to stretch.
Normal ankle and hip range of motion, as well as strength, are vital components needed to help maintain balance. – Vici Ruthenburg, MHS, PT, Cert MDT, a physical therapist in St. Anthony's Sports and Therapy Services.
Stretching has multiple benefits to both physical and emotional health.
Stretching has been found to lower stress levels by easing tense or tired muscles. Physical benefits are even more powerful. Done correctly, stretching improves overall blood circulation, flexibility, posture, and range of movement around your joints, making you less prone to injury.
Several sports medicine studies over the past four years also have found that a dedicated stretching program can enhance overall muscle strength and endurance, which can help maintain balance and minimize falls, a huge problem as we age. According to the AARP, falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly, with more than one-third of all adults over the age of 65 experiencing a fall annually.
“Normal ankle and hip range of motion, as well as strength, are vital components needed to help maintain balance,” says Vici Ruthenburg, MHS, PT, Cert MDT, a physical therapist in St. Anthony’s Sports and Therapy Services.
Flexibility and range-of-motion exercises should be done after a light 5- to 7-minute warm-up. These exercises can be done seated, standing, or lying in a bed or on the floor and should be done daily for at least 15 minutes. Sports specialists, however, have differing opinions as to when you will receive the most benefits, depending upon your level of fitness and actual activity:
IN THE MORNING:
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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