You can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work or when you’re traveling. But if you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to alter your approach. For example, if you have a strained muscle, stretching it as you usually do may cause further harm. Talk with your doctor or a physical therapist about the best way for you to stretch.
As a general rule, stretch whenever you exercise. If you don’t exercise regularly, you may want to stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. If you have a problem area, such as tightness in the back of your leg, you may want to stretch every day or even twice a day.
Think about ways you can fit stretching into your daily schedule. For example:
- Stretch before getting out of bed. Try a few gentle head-to-toe stretches by reaching your arms above your head and pointing your toes.
- Do some stretches after your morning shower or bath. That way, you can shorten your warm-up routine because the warm water will raise muscle temperature and prepare your muscles for stretching.
- Sign up for a yoga or tai chi class. You’re more likely to stick with a program if you’re registered for a class.
(Advice paraphrased from the Mayo Clinic web site)
The following information is paraphrased from the Mayo Clinic’s web site…
When challenging yourself to create strength and flexibility, change how hard, long and often you work out. The trick is to avoid doing so much that you end up hurt or burned out. Make a smart and safe transition with these tips.
Start by assessing where you’re at now, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
What you already do (exercise mode), including cardio exercise and strength training
How hard you work (intensity)
How often you do it (frequency)
How long you do it (duration)
Set new goals
Next, take a look at specific, realistic goals you can set to improve your fitness level. Maybe you can jog or swim for 45 minutes, rather than 30. Or you could add flexibility exercises into your routine.
The best way to improve your fitness level is to increase your exercise intensity. Intensity refers to how hard you work. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you to get the most effective results possible. If you exercise at a lower intensity, you’ll need to work out for longer sessions or more often to achieve the same fitness effects. In building up, first increase the frequency of your activity (number of days a week). As you become more fit, increase the length of each workout and finally the intensity.
To increase the intensity of your workout:
Move more briskly. The faster you move your body, the more work you’ll do within a given time.
For strength training, gradually lift more weight.
But don’t overdo it!
If you exercise too intensely, you run the risk of an overuse injury or fatigue and burnout. To avoid over-training, increase your total exercise time, distance or intensity gradually. Alternate hard and easy workouts from one day to the next, and build in time for rest and recovery.
Once you’ve reached a new fitness level, take a moment to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come!
The news coverage surrounding the death of actor Robin Williams took yet another path with a statement provided by his wife, Susan Schneider, that he was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s Disease. We believe sharing her words is important far beyond the details of how he chose to end his life.
“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the front lines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.” “
Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.” “
Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety, as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly. It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”
Actor Michael J. Fox tweeted Thursday evening that he was “stunned” by the news that Williams had the disease. “Pretty sure his support for our (foundation) predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace.” Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991.
April 30, 2014
We were joined on our return trip to the Peabody Metro Bowl bowling lanes today by three new friends from the Peabody Parkinson’s support group. We’re happy to report that all of us scored in the double digits and a couple of us even bowled spares!
Good fun and friendship shared…we’re looking forward to going back soon!