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Top Ten Tips for Stretching Success
Stretching is essential to any pregnancy exercise program. But, most people don't realize HOW to stretch.
Just going through the motions can be more dangerous than not doing it at all. Follow these ten tips to round out your workout.
1. Warm up with 5-8 minutes of cardiovascular exercise - that is, an activity like jogging, biking or walking that will get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Then begin your stretching routine.
2. Stretch only those muscles that are tight.
3. Don't stretch muscles that are already loose - if you don't "feel the stretch", you may not need to do it.
4. Avoid over-stretching. During pregnancy your joints are especially loose and prone to injury.
5. Stretching should NOT hurt. Stretching a tight muscle should feel good, back off if there is any pain.
6. Hold stretches for 20-30 seconds each.
7. Never bounce while you stretch.
8. Stay relaxed and breathe deeply to help lengthen your muscles.
9. Do not lock out your joints, keep elbows and knees slightly bent to reduce stress on them.
10. Stretch after your exercise session too, to help your body cool down and prevent injury.
There you have it, the basics of stretching! Follow these simple guidelines and reap the benefits of stretching during pregnancy.
For more information on this article, see this website: http://www.fitandhealthypregnancy.com/articles_exercise.asp
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