Stretching… Follow these easy steps

Stretching is an activity that most people neglect, do incorrectly, or don’t hold long enough.  Stretching is necessary to increase the flexibility of your muscles and tendons.  Also, it helps to prevent injury because chronic tightening of your muscles can lead to muscle strains and possible tears when performing activity.  Typically, most strains occur when one doesn’t stretch, and then one performs a great deal of activity or when a quick burst of activity occurs (i.e walking to sprint).
It is most important to note that when stretching to think of your muscles like rubber bands. The longer you hold the rubber band, the greater the elasticity becomes and the looser the rubber band will be.  From most patients that I gather feedback from in my office, they normally stretch 15-20 seconds, maybe 30 seconds at the most.  One should stretch around 45 seconds each stretch and perform these 3-4x per side daily 2-3x per week of any stretch you decide to do.  Just stretching at this frequency at 2 days per week for just 1 month will increase your flexibility by 20%. This translates to less injury, more flexibility, improved performance when playing, and faster recovery time after working out or playing.
Proper stretching is critical with activity or to increase your activity, but meeting with a proper healthcare professional to show you how to do the stretches properly will avoid injury and keep you healthy.  So remember… 45 seconds 3x per side daily 2 days per week for 1 month = 20% flexibility increase!
Stay tuned to next month’s blog. Take control of your health!

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