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I get asked this question a lot by my clients. Well the short answer is everday. We really don't realize how our lives truely impact our bodies. When you look at how long you sit in a cubicle to crouched over doing laundry we put great stress on our bodies. So then our bodies react to these types of stress by making the body tight, sore and limited. So flexibility exercises should be done on a daily basis to keep the body limber and flexible. Just think of it. Do you have a dog or cat? What is the first thing it does when it wakes up? That's right it stretches before it moves. So as humans we need to do the same.
Stretching should be performed a minimum of three days a week for 5-10 minutes at a time. For maximum effectiveness you can stretch 5-7 days per week. Perform 1-2 sets per muscle group. Focus on muscles that are particularly tight. Muscles that are most often tight include the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, latissimus dorsi (large back muscle) and chest.
Flexibility exercises should be done every day. Stretching major muscle groups is paramount to stay balanced. Overactive muscles can change your mechanics when performing movements and can create bigger problems if not lengthened periodically, especially repetitive movements such as aerobic training. When stretching, try to hold the static stretch for no less than 20 seconds or longer if possible. Flexibility is best done when the muscles are warm and it can be done every day as long as you don't overstretch the ligaments. Flexibility can be used as a relaxing tool before going to sleep as a daily routine for a few minutes. It can help you relax and help you sleep better.
You should engage in at least two to three sessions per week of balance and flexibility exercises, for a total of at least 60 minutes. Add these workouts to your cardio and strength-training sessions. Although there is no evidence that stretching before activities prevents injury, stretching before or afterward as part of a five- to 10-minute warm-up and cool-down does have health benefits.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.