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The Essentials of Stretching: Why No Young Athlete Can Afford to Skip It

Parents know the importance of exercise for their children as well as themselves. Regular physical activity boosts bone density and improves the individual's cardiovascular health. When children start exercising regularly at a young age, they get into the habit. As a result, they will probably continue making it a priority as they get older and life gets busier. However, many children and adults fail to stretch before they engage in exercise. They then find themselves sidelined as their body recovers from an injury. Why is stretching so important? What stretches can people of all ages do to ensure they are ready for more strenuous physical activity?

Why Every Person Needs to Stretch

Men, women, and children need to stretch their bodies before and after exercise. As a pediatrician plano tx explains, doing so helps to reduce the risk of an injury and also aids in the recovery process. It only takes a few minutes to stretch before and during exercise, and every person finds there are certain benefits associated with this activity. The following serve as a few of these benefits.

Stretching helps to get the blood pumping before exercise. This means there will be less tension in the muscles, and the person will be ready to engage in physical activity.

Tight muscles remain more at risk of an injury. Stretching helps to prevent this from happening, as it warms the muscles up. They extend fully, which decreases the risk of muscle injury and strains. Children need to stretch as much as adults do, and every person should remember to cool down after exercising to allow for a more rapid recovery.

Stretching increases the person's range of motion and flexibility. The stretches keep the muscles lean, flexible, and long. As a result of the stretches, the muscle won't be subject to excessive force when the person is exercising. In addition, strong and healthy muscles prevent falls.

Stretches Appropriate for Any Age

Parents need to encourage their children to stretch before engaging in physical activity. The best way to do so involves modeling the stretches for the child. Kids want to be like their parents, so they follow the movements. They don't even need to know they are stretching to get the benefits. What stretches can a parent do with their child of any age?

The hamstring stretch is one child might do on their own. Sit on a mat and extend both legs. Keep the back straight and slowly lean forward. Exhale while leaning forward and attempt to touch the toes. Hold this stretch for a minimum of ten seconds and repeat.

The kneel stretch serves as a great way to ease a child into stretching. Kneel on the floor and have the child do the same. Press the feet together while keeping the knees apart. Place the arms at the side with the palms facing up. Slowly bend over and hold this position for a minimum of ten seconds. Breathe deeply throughout the activity. Release the body and repeat.

The shoulder stretch is another fun activity for kids. Stand with the arms out at each side. Have the palms facing down and slowly move the arms back; tell them to pretend they have something between the shoulder blades they can't drop. Encourage them to breathe normally throughout the exercise. Hold for a minimum of ten seconds and repeat.

These are only three of many activities a parent can do with their child. Children can do these stretches on their own as well. However, parents should join in on the fun, as people of all ages need to keep their muscles flexible so they can live life to the fullest regardless of their age.