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Stretches –12 Easy Stretches To Stay Physically Fit and Healthy

12 Stretches to perform daily to keep you flexible and fit.  You don’t need to go to Gym to be fit just perform these easy routines to have a body that is physically fit.

When it comes to stretching out your muscles, there are a lot of options to choose from.  Thanks tp Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy at New York University and the author of “Age Defying Fitness.” She took us through the best basic stretches that work for practically everyone.

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WHY DOES FLEXIBILITY MATTER?

“Flexibility is the third pillar of fitness, next to cardiovascular conditioning and strength training,” says David Geier, the director of sports medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, and a spokesperson for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. In fact, flexibility can help your body reach its optimum fitness level, may play a role in injury prevention, and can even contribute to staving off conditions like arthritis and more serious illnesses.

When you stretch a muscle, you lengthen the tendons, or muscle fibers, that attach it to the bone. “The longer these fibers are, the more you can increase the muscle in size when you do your strength training,” says Geier. That means that a more flexible muscle has the potential to become a stronger muscle, too.

Remember: Don’t do these stretches if they make you uncomfortable or if you have existing muscle problems. Instead, consult a physical therapist.

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12 STRETCHES THAT’LL HELP KEEP YOU FLEXIBLE AND FIT AT ANY AGE

First things first: Get seated with good posture. Having that will help you do these stretches correctly.

stretches - posture

To start, we’ll go through some neck rotations. Be sure to hold each side for 30 to 60 seconds. This applies to all stretches.

stretches - neck-rotation

For the neck tilt, be sure to pull your left arm down toward the floor, either holding onto the chair or just pulling down.

stretches - neck-tilt

Keeping your posture solid, move through your trunk rotations, again holding 30 to 60 seconds.

stretches - trunk-rotation

For this pose, a little bend is all you need. It’s just enough to stretch out your spine without going too far.

stretches - hyperextension

The trunk lateral flexion will give the sides of your torso a great stretch.

stretches - trunk-lateral-flexion

Now it’s time for a simple spine-stretching fold.

stretches - fold-over

For the back-scratch stretch, be sure the top palm is facing toward the body while the bottom palm faces out.

stretches - back-scratch

Staying vertical, go into the classic quad stretch.

stretches - quad-stretch

For the heel-chord stretch, you should feel your back leg’s muscles feeling the stretch, especially along the calf.

stretches - heel-chord

Now, grab a mat and lie down. Your other leg should remain firmly on the ground.

stretches - hip-flexor

If you have an elastic strap, use it for this leg-extension stretch to get your leg up even higher.

stretches - leg-extension

To finish it, stretch out the back of your thigh with this pose. If the stretch is too intense, bring the uncrossed leg out farther.

stretches - piriformis

source: here

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