Yes, cardio exercise and building muscle are important. But it’s also important not to skimp on the third element of overall health: flexibility. As we age we tend to lose flexibility. Keeping yourself active can help maintain your flexibility.

Why does flexibility matter?

 

When you focus on stretching and flexibility, you will:

  • Move more freely
  • Have better posture
  • Be more relaxed and serene
  • Reduce muscle tension and soreness
  • Reduce the risk of injury

 

Dos and don’ts of stretching

 

DO:

  • Warm up your muscles BEFORE stretching. Failure to warm up may increase your risk of injury. Do a light walk on the treadmill or an easy ride on the bike to get your blood flowing.
  • Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds at a time. Do this 2-4 times alternating left and right sides.
  • Ask for help. The Wellness Center personal trainers can give you tips and creative stretches.

 

DON’T

  • Do not overstretch the muscle. In other words, if it hurts, then do not stretch that far.
  • Don’t bounce. You could strain a muscle or even worse, injure it.
  • Don’t hold your breath! Breathing is important to carry oxygen to your muscles as they stretch.

 

To learn how to incorporate stretching into your workouts, visit the front desk or Contact us online to ask about fitness instruction.