Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare’s Health Tip on Physical Activity

When you think about physical activity what comes to mind? Most likely the two heavy weights are first to pop into your head; aerobic activity and strength training. Yes these forms of physical activity are essential to living a fit, active lifestyle and reducing risk of disease due to physical inactivity, but don’t forget about a stretching routine as part of your physical activity plan. Stretching consists of deliberately elongating a specific muscle or muscle group and is natural and instinctive activity. Stretching may improve your flexibility, enhance range of motion, increase blood flow to the muscles and decrease your risk of injury.

Always warm-up your muscles with light aerobic activity before you stretch, and stretch after your workout when muscles are warm and pliable allowing for a better stretch. Do not overstretch, or stretch to the point of pain, you should reach till you feel the stretch and hold that position for 20 seconds. It is important to hold your position and not bounce during the stretch. Most importantly remember to breathe and relax during your stretching routine.

There are no official recommendations for stretching frequency but it is suggested at least 2-3 times a week; if you do not stretch regularly you may not be able to achieve the desired results of increase flexibility and range of motion.

From: Carissa Wiersma | Freelance Communication Specialist | Marketing Communications | |Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare | 700 West Avenue South | La Crosse, WI 54601 |mayoclinichealthsystem.org

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