Stretch it Out


As a person ages, the muscles will tighten and range of motion around your joints will decrease.  This will significantly affect a persons’ active lifestyle, as well as the ability to perform simply day-to-day tasks.  Tasks that used to come naturally, such as bending over to tie a shoelace, or reaching for something high in the closest are now extremely difficult.  Understanding the benefits of, and embarking on a stretching routine will help lengthen muscles, preseve your range of motion, and make daily living much more enjoyable.

A person with good health and fitness will have good cardiovasular endurance, muscular strength, and a limber body as a result of stretching.  Many people often overlook this third component.  Realizing the benefits of stretching is by far the easiest of the three components.  It does not require a large time committment or extreme physical expenditure. 

The benefits of stretching are numerous, here are just a few:

  • Increased circulation of blood
  • Increased energy, as a result of increased circulation
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Greater range of motion
  • Enhanced muscle coordination

 

Try the basic stretching routine below, 3 times a week to reach higher levels of flexibility and overall wellness.

  1. Hip Flexor Stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side
  2. Butterfly stretch – 1 set of 40 seconds
  3. Piriformis stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side
  4. Quadriceps stretch – 2 sets of 45 seconds on each side
  5. Hamstring stretch (on raised object) – 1 set of 1 minute on each side
  6. Hip Stretch – 2 sets of 45 seconds on each side
  7. Straddle split – 2 sets of 1 minute
  8. Floor straddle – 1 set of 1 minute
  9. Gastrocmenius stretch – 1 set of 1 minute per side
  10. Shoulder stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side
  11. Triceps stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side
  12. Chest stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side
  13. Lat stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side
  14. Biceps stretch – 2 sets of 20 seconds per side

 

Hold each stretch at the point of mild tension.  Do NOT bounce.  Try running through this routine two times if time permits.

Stretches found here.

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