back stiffness and pain affects millions of people,
even athletes. The National Center for Health Statistics
reports that 14% of new patient visits to physician
offices (approximately 13 million annually) are for
lower back pain. In fact, an estimated 18% of the
debilitating back pain at any given time. Lack of
proper stretching for flexibility is a key contributor to
this widespread health care issue, according to Exercise
Physiologist, Joey Atlas.
offers these five principles for getting and staying
- Ease into a stretching program
whether youíve been
exercising regularly or not.
- Stay consistent. Three to five
stretching exercise sessions per week is ideal.
- If you feel pain, stop! Slight
discomfort is fine, but pain is not. Donít do a
stretch if it hurts.
- The best stretching exercises do
not require expensive equipment or elaborate
devices. You can increase your flexibility with
stretches that can be done on a mat with the
assistance of a towel.
- If you donít know what to do,
hire a personal trainer who is trained in
flexibility conditioning, or invest in a few good
stretching exercise videos.