Huffpost Women

The Importance of Stretching

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I've been working with my personal trainer, Steven Wernick, for some time now and he has taught me so much about fitness and the importance of stretching that I just wanted to share a few of his tips. -- MT

Flexibility is one of the most neglected components of fitness, and one of the most important, especially as we get older. Daily stretching will not only help you feel better, more limber and more youthful, but improved flexibility will also help prevent injury, increase circulation, and overall well being.

Stretching is an activity that can be done anywhere and doesn’t need any special equipment, although there are products on the market to help guide and teach safe and effective stretching techniques. Beginners, or those that have not done any physical activity should begin with simple static stretching. To do a static stretch, get into a stretch position, and hold it for 15-30 seconds, without bouncing. All you need to do is look at your dog or cat when they get up from lying down for an extended period of time. They stretch naturally.

A good stretching routine doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Five minutes a day will make a huge difference in how you feel and how you look. You will look leaner, stand taller, and have better posture which will take years off your appearance.

So don’t just sit there. You can download a free list of stretches at www.necksup.com. Please check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

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Filed by Michael Flocker