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  • STRETCHING IS NATURAL: How did stretching get to be so time-consuming, embarrassing and awkward? It's really not that big a deal and it feels wonderful. Just watch your dog or cat! They'll show you how to do it!
    REMEMBERING TO STRETCH: Do you forget to take breaks and stretch? It's easy to download and install a break reminder on your computer. Or you can just purchase a small digital timer to keep with you while you work to remind you to stop working occasionally, take a break, and stretch.
    HOW TO STRETCH: Stretching should be done slowly without bouncing. Stretch to where you feel a slight tension. Hold this for 5 to 20 seconds. As you hold this stretch, the feeling of tension should diminish. If it doesn't, ease off slightly. After holding the easy stretch, you can move a fraction of an inch farther into the stretch until you feel mild tension. Again, the tension should diminish or stay the same. If the tension increases or becomes painful, you are overstretching. Ease off a bit to a comfortable stretch. NEVER HOLD A STRETCH THAT CAUSES PAIN. Stretching reduces tension, increases blood flow, and will gradually improve flexibility. The key to stretching is to be relaxed while you concentrate on the area being stretched. Your breathing should be slow, deep and rhythmical. Don't worry about how far you can stretch. Note: If you have had recent surgery, or have a muscle or joint problem, please consult your health care professional before starting a stretching program.

    Our favorite stretching handout (PDF)

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