Flexibility 101 | Stretching For Beginners
We probably ought to take a tip from the cats in our lives: Lots of long, slow stretching each day can be enormously beneficial for two-legged creatures as well
Want to keep your body loose and agile? Stretch. Want to avoid injuring yourself while playing basketball or other sports? Stretch. Want to stay flexible long into your senior years, able to reach down and pick up the newspaper every morning, climb stairs without pain, and even have fun crawling into the sandbox with your grandkids? Stretch.
Stretching For Beginners
Optimally, enjoy at least 10 minutes of flexibility-promoting activity every day. Stretching is the most common form of flexibility exercise. Please see the Exercise Resources Section of the Guidebook you received at the Pritikin Longevity Center for directions for 16 superb exercises that give you a full body stretch. (Your cat will be impressed!)
Other examples of flexibility activities include yoga, gardening, and even vacuuming and golf.
Below Are 5 Key Tips For Each Time You Stretch:
- Before stretching, engage in aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling. That’s because aerobic activity warms up your muscles. Warm muscles have increased flexibility and are more comfortable to stretch.
- Stretch right after you’ve exercise aerobically. Muscle contractions during aerobic exercise tend to tighten your muscles. Stretching immediately afterwards lengthens the muscles and improves overall flexibility.
- Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and preferably 30 seconds or more. Stretching as little as 10 seconds gives the muscles a chance to lengthen. Benefits increase as length of stretch increases.
- Enjoy yourself while stretching. Let the time pass. Turn on soothing music. Do not rush. Use this time to relax and renew. It’s a wonderful escape from the frenzy of life, and so good for you.
- Stretch at least 10 minutes daily (or at least on the days you exercise).