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Stretching Before You Go

Stretching is an important component of any fitness program. Stretching can be done before, during or after you walk. If you choose to stretch before your walk, do so only lightly. Your muscles aren’t warm at this point and as a result, less pliable. Directly after your walk your muscles will be warm and limber. This is a great time to improve flexibility.

Each stretch should be held for 20–60 seconds. You will find that making stretching a part of your regular routine will give you a greater range of motion. It is a great way to cool down after your walk, ease muscle pain, speed recovery and prevent injury. Here are some recommended stretches for you to try:

Quadriceps Stretch
Stand straight and hold on to a tree or wall for balance if needed. Bend knee and hold top of foot with hand on same side of the body. You will feel the stretch through the front of the thigh.

 

Gastrocnemius (Calf) Stretch
Place one leg forward with knee bent. Keep other leg back with knee almost straight and heel down. Most of your weight will be on the back leg. After holding for 20 seconds, bend the back leg and hold in this position for another 20 seconds.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Step forward with right leg and bend deep in the knee. Allow left knee to bend as body lowers. Press left hip forward keeping hips pointed straight ahead. You will feel the stretch at the top of the leg in your hip flexor.

 

Hamstring Stretch
Hinge at the hip and extend left leg forward keeping a slight bend in the knee. The left foot is flexed with the heel on the ground. Lower right leg into a deep knee bend keeping your back straight.>

 

Inner Thigh & Upper Back Stretch
Spread feet more then shoulder width apart and bend left knee, keeping right leg straight. Extend arms at shoulder height and clasp hands together pulling arms forward and rounding upper back.

 

Side Stretch
Stand up tall and cross right let behind left. Extend right arm up and lean to left side.

 

Pectoral Stretch
Open arms wide with shoulder blades moving down and together. Be sure to keep neck long and shoulders together. You will feel the chest open up.

 

** Credit: Thanks to Megan Olson of Teck Cominco for allowing us to us these images and information.

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