Stretching on a regular basis benefits the muscles, joints, and overall health of the body. While the perfect goal would be DAILY, let’s not beat ourselves up over our DAILY “TO DO” list and let’s get started on some gentle, easy stretches that can help with neck and shoulder pain. (Psst! Here’s a secret: I do not stretch daily, usually because of a large schedule, hitting the snooze button one to many times, or snuggling on my couch at the end of the day to something on Bravo.) Let’s make a goal to start today!
5 tips for healthy safe stretching:
- Move into a strong stretch. Stretching should feel good and never painful. If you are feeling pain, you may be stretching too far.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds then take the stretch off and rest.
- Perform 2-3 repetitions of the same stretch then move to another stretch or the other side of the body.
- Hold the stretch, NEVER bounce the stretch. Bouncing can cause muscle injury.
- Breathe when stretching. Holding your breath may cause dizziness. I always tell my clients: If you stop breathing, nothing else matters 🙂 It’s the truth!
If you are being treated by a clinician for a condition, consult the clinician first before starting a stretching program. As with any exercise program, consult your physician prior to starting the program or exercise.