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Stretching is one of the easiest exercises to do to make our bodies strong and fit! Yes, I said exercises. Stretching is part of the exercise puzzle and important for many reasons. 


The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends flexibility training a minimum of 2 to 3 days per week and holding each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds; 3 to 4 repetitions per stretch. That means we should be spending around 20 minutes 2 to 3 days a week stretching! These recommendations are for stretching separate to that stretching you do after a workout. I don’t know about you but I know I haven’t been stretching nearly enough!

Stretching benefits the body by making the muscles supple and thus resistant to the wear and tear of strain and tension. It is why many people begin their exercise routines with simple stretching to warm the muscles in preparation for more strenuous exercises.

However, the problem with stretching is that most people commonly take it for granted. Despite it being an easy workout, stretching is not given much importance. As a result, more damage to the body occurs including possible injuries.

Stretching practices the muscle’s ability to expand and retract. When the muscle is stretched too far, injuries are likely to follow. And a muscle tear can be very painful!

Here are a few tips to follow during stretching to make it safe and beneficial.

1:: Wear comfortable and loose clothing.

2:: Stretching is a practice, the more you do it the better you will become and stretching regularly will allow the body to get used to the exercise, thus enabling it to adjust well to changes exercising may bring.

3:: Do not overdo it. This is most applicable for those who will embark on stretching for the first time or after a long layoff. You should listen to your body. When the body begins to ache or when it shows signs of fatigue, you must learn to stop to avoid further damage.

4:: You should do stretching in slightly increasing levels of intensity and difficulty. This is to give the body time to adjust to stretching patterns as well as to prevent injury by suddenly embarking in a heavy routine.

5:: Do not stretch after meals. This will not give you the most benefit because digestion will prevent you from fully executing your stretches.


Enjoy the stretch!!



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