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3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Stretch

By Genevieve Cunningham

Stretching should be a part of your everyday life. Even if you're not exercising, you should definitely be stretching. Unfortunately, most people skip this important step. They don't even stretch before a run or before lifting weights. And it definitely shows! But there's more to stretching than just getting it done -- though that's absolutely an important part. It's also important to stretch well. To stretch efficiently. But how? If you'd like to get the most of your stretch session, take a look at these tips to keep in mind starting right now. 

Always Follow Proper Form

If you're lazy when you stretch, you won't be following proper form. Many people, when they stretch their legs, tend to arch the back and reach with their hands. But the proper form is to lead with the chest, getting the chest and abdomen as close to the leg as possible. There are similar rules for stretching other parts of the body as well. If you don't follow proper form, you won't be getting a deep stretch, and you also run the risk of injury. Always follow proper form, and you'll get more from each stretch session. 

Don't Be in a Hurry

Stretching shouldn't be something you rush through. It's tempting to just go through the motions in order to get it done, but this is not at all beneficial. Instead, take your time. Really stay in the stretch and feel the release. Over time, you may find that this approach is actually preferable, as it starts to feel really good when each muscle group releases tension, stretches out, and leans into more flexibility. 

Do It More Often

If you stretch before you exercise, you're doing a good job. But what if we stretched even more often? What if we stretched in the morning, at lunch, and before our workout? What if we stretched both before and after a workout? The more we stretch, the more flexible our muscles will be. And the more flexibility we experience in our muscles, the better we feel and the lower our risk of injury in our daily workouts.

If you're not stretching regularly, it's definitely time to start! Stretching is so good for your body -- even if that's the only thing you do. Use these tips to get the most from your stretching session, and enjoy all of the benefits that come with this practice.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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