Stretching is one of the simplest of all physical activities. In fact, in its most basic form, stretching is a natural and instinctive activity; you’ve probably found yourself stretching unintentionally after long periods of inactivity. While it may be simple, it is also beneficial in the following ways:

* Improves circulation by increasing blood flow
* Improves range of motion
* Increases flexibility
* Reduces muscle tension
* May decrease the risk of injury during activity
* Reduces anxiety, fatigue and stress
* Prevents post-exercise muscle soreness
* Improves mental alertness
* Promotes better posture
* Puts your mind and body in sync
* Makes you feel better

So, unless you have a reason not to, add a stretch routine to your health calendar at least three times a week. To get the most out of your stretching, you should warm up first, target the major muscle groups, hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, don’t bounce, focus on a pain-free stretch, and relax and breath freely.