The Dos & Don’ts of Stretching

Is stretching important?

Is it better to stretch before or after a workout?

How long should I hold my stretches for?

 

Stretching Is Important!

You may think of stretching as something performed by athletes. But we all need to stretch in order to protect our bodies and stay healthy.

While many of us know stretching can help increase flexibility – did you know that stretching can help reduce joint pain and the risk injury? 

Without stretching, muscles can become tight and shorten,  which puts you at risk for joint pain, strains and injury.

 

Here are some Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind during your stretching sessions.

Dos

Do hold your stretch for 15 – 30seconds. Let the muscle lengthen slowly, don’t force it

Do stretch your whole body. Focus on stretching your whole body, rather than honing in on one area

Do stretch after exercise or being physically active. Muscles respond best to lengthening when they are warm and have blood flow 

Do think about where you are supposed to be feeling the stretch and make sure you are feeling it in the correct place.

 

Don’ts

Don’t stretch into pain. You should feel tension or mild discomfort when you stretch, but not pain!

Don’t bounce your stretch.

Don’t hold your breath. Take deep fluid breaths while stretching.

Don’t begin your workout or exercise with stretching, always warm up first. Spend at least 5 to 10 minutes warming up, this can include walking or pumping your arms.

Don’t over stretch when pregnant. Your ligaments are more lax due to a hormone called relaxin. This hormone prepares your body for giving birth, however you are more prone to injury if you over stretch.   

There are many benefits to stretching! It helps keep you flexible, strong and healthy, can be relaxing, and helps maintain your joints to move optimally.

 

If you have any questions, or would like some help with your stretching program, do not hesitate to contact us!