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When to stretch?
• Stretching can be done any time you feel like it, at work, in the car etc.
• Stretch before and after physical activity but also stretch at varies times of the day when you can.
• In the morning before the start of the day.
• At work to relieve nervous tension.
• After sitting or standing for a long period of time.
• When you feel stiff.
• Reduce muscle tension.
• Help with coordination.
• Increase range of motion.
• Help prevent injuries.
• Make strenuous activities easier.
• Develop body awareness.
The Stretch Reflex
• Your muscles are protected by a mechanism called the stretch reflex.
• Any time you stretch the muscle fibres too far a nerve reflex responds by sending a signal to the muscles to contract; this helps the muscle from being injured.
• Stretching too far tightens the very muscles you are trying to stretch
No pain no gain
• Don’t be fooled.
• Stretching, when done correctly is not painful.
• Pain is an indicator that something is wrong
• Correct alignment is always essential to optimise stretching the muscles along the fibre distribution.
• Stretching is easy, but when it’s done incorrectly, it can actually do more harm than good.
REMEMBER: Everybody is different and well all have strengths and weakness in our bodies that stretching can help to address. If you listen to your body and learn about its needs, you will be able to maintain and improve your level of well being that can last a lifetime.