Don’t Stretch When Your Muscles are Cold

Cold muscles are tight and don’t have much stretch in them. Instead, warm up for five minutes or more before you stretch any muscle that you hold.

A little light running, a few minutes warming up in the sun, or even a warm bath will be enough to get your muscles moving and active before you stretch.

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Don’t Hold Your Breath While You Stretch

Your muscles need oxygen throughout the stretch so take good deep, slow breaths as you stretch.

Holding your breath can also raise blood pressure. Simple stretches such as shoulder rolls don’t require that you hold them, but other stretches such as quadriceps stretches should be held for at least 20 seconds. 60 seconds is even better.

Remember to breathe throughout the stretch.

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Stretching Mistakes

We should be stretching to stay limber and flexible, but if we stretch in a way that overstresses muscles or tendons, we can cause strains or even sprains while stretching.
Not all injuries come as a result of a single, bad stretch, either. Repetitive stretching that’s improperly done can cause injury over time.
Ideally, we should not wait until an injury occurs to begin stretching to relieve the pain or regain mobility. We should stretch every day.
As we age, we begin to lose flexibility and range of motion, especially in the shoulders and low back, which can then lead to other mobility issues.
Fortunately, age-related loss of flexibility can be reversed with a daily stretching program.

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