Most of us have heard that stretching is important for maintaining muscular elasticity, preventing strains and injuries, improving range of motion and relaxing tense muscles. Greater flexibility improves movement in daily activities as well as sports and physical conditioning. Here are a few tips that will help you get more out of your flexibility training

 Stretch after a warm up: Light physical activity for 10 minutes or longer will increase blood flow to your muscles. Warm muscles will be more elastic and less likely to injure.

  • Stretching should not hurt: You should be able to relax into your stretch. Stop if you feel pain...listen to your body!

  • Hold and breathe: Hold each stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds, and breathe deeply.

  • Form: Maintain good posture and do not bounce while you stretch. Check with a personal trainer, coach or exercise specialist to ensure you are using good stretching technique.

  • Frequency: stretch daily for optimal benefits.

  • Always consult with a physician before beginning any exercise program. Make sure that stretching will not aggravate any injuries or medical conditions first!

About the Author

Fitness Tips as published weekly in the PG Xpress Fit for lifecolumn

M. Gregor, B.A.

Chief Instructor and Fitness Trainer

Shadow Martial Arts: HapKiDo,

Self Defense and Cross Training

Martial Arts instruction for all ages.

185 Dominion Street. Call: 564-4025