Stretching for Better Flexibility

While there is no direct link between stretching and weight loss, stretching is still an important part of your exercise routine. Stretching improves flexibility, which can lead to better range of motion and reduced risk of injury. If your medical weight loss program involves, for instance, hiking on the hills around Ocala, a good stretching regimen can insure that you do not injure your ankles while going up or downhill.

When adding stretching to your routine, it is important that you stretch correctly. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track:

  • Warm up before you stretch. Ten minutes of light movement before you stretch can help keep cold muscles from getting injured.
  • Stretch with a slow, fluid motion. Do not bounce, as this can cause muscle tears.
  • Focus on each major muscle group one at a time. Work through your shoulders, torso, hips and legs. Also make sure that you stretch on both sides evenly.
  • Stretching should not be painful. If you are feeling pain, you are overextending.
  • Try stretching exercises routines like Tai Chi. The movement and form involved in this gentle martial art can make help you become more flexible. There are many classes offered here in the Ocala area.
  • Tailor your stretching exercises to the activity you are about to start. For instance, if you like to jog you will want to do stretches that can protect your legs from injury.
  • Make stretching a regular habit. Try to stretch at least two to three times a week to continually improve your flexibility. Waiting too long in between work outs can mean losing the benefit of all the work that you have done.