Are You Stretching Enough? Too Long? Too Much?

pictue of woman doing yoga

Most of us try to stay up on what we should be doing in our exercise routines. But sometimes stretching gets overlooked or relegated to last place as we zero in on all of the other fine points.

Harvard Health Stretching Questions

How often should you stretch? How long should you hold a stretch? How many times should you do each stretch?

These are all important questions. Stretching promotes flexibility and helps joints keep a healthy range of motion, reducing the risk of muscle or joint strain.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) created an expert panel who reviewed a wide range of studies to help answer these stretching questions.

ACSM Stretching Answers

• Healthy adults should do flexibility exercises such as stretches, yoga, or tai chi for all major muscle tendon groups, including the neck, shoulders, chest, trunk, lower back, hips, legs, and ankles, at least two to three times a week.

• For best results spend 60 seconds on each stretching exercise. If you can hold a stretch for 15 seconds, repeat it three more times. If you can hold the stretch for 20 seconds, two more repetitions work.

Yoga & Tai Chi

Both yoga and tai chi show up as community and studio classes that I have found to be amazing life props. Once I started using them I wondered why I had not discovered them sooner. Along with the valuable stretching exercises you can absorb a complete mind/body meditation that dismisses stress, promotes balance and clears your brain.

If you are new to yoga, take the time to explore and sample the many versions, observe sessions, and talk to a certified instructor and your doctor before you begin.

With tai chi also do your homework. Find out what is available and speak with a certified instructor. I have had the good fortune to find an amazing tai chi class that is held once a week early mornings in my local park. I think of it as a little slice of peace of mind among the eucalyptus. Keep looking into both yoga and tai chi to find the ideal fit for you and tell the instructor if you have any health issues.

As you pursue stretching and wellness in general consider adding your local chiropractor to your resources.

Visiting the Chiropractor

Chiropractors believe wellness and routine chiropractic care should be as basic for us as healthy diets and daily exercise.

They offer the purest form of chiropractic care, providing full spinal adjustments using the diversified technique to check for subluxations, which are misalignments of the spine.

Subluxations are misalignments of one or more vertebrae in the spine and or joints. When the misalignment is corrected it may have far reaching effects on back, neck and sciatica pain.

It may also help with allergies, TMJ, arthritis, headaches and migraines.

If this direct focus on wellness sounds good to you make an appointment and find out more.



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Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jose Francisco Del Valle Mojica

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.