Stretch Yourself Young

Young bodies are supple, flexible bodies. Being stiff and unable to reach or bend easily can make anyone appear absolutely ancient. Try to stretch every morning when you wake up and again after exercise or just when you feel the need. Spending so much time hunched over computers really take its toll on your muscles.

So get up every 40 minutes and do stretches that push your back in the opposite direction. Nothing makes you look older or feel worse than a stoop.

Both yoga and Pilates are excellent for flexibility. It’s well worth finding a great personal trainer, yoga or Pilates instructor and taking a few lessons in stretching to begin with. If you have a problem, such as a bad back, they can also give you specialized exercises and stretches to help. Or get a foam roller to use at home to really get deep into your muscles.

Stretching is invigorating, both physically and mentally, and not only does it enhance your exercise performance, it can decrease injury and minimize muscle soreness, too.

Stretching not only increases the length of our muscles, which gives us that long lean look, it also reduces muscle tension and increases our normal range of movement. By increasing your range of movement you are increasing the distance your limbs can move before damage to the muscles and tendons occurs.

Remember, like anything else new, stretching correctly is vital. Stretch only to the point of tension, never to the point of pain, and always warm up prior to stretching. Warm muscles are like Play Dough — they stretch better than cold ones. So always make sure you do a bit of a warm up, even just running on the spot for two minutes before you start.