Studies have shown that exercising as little as 30 minutes a day can decrease your risk for certain types of cancer.
Before starting to exercise, take five to 10 minutes to allow your body to warm up. You will want to perform light activities, such as walking at a slow, easy pace. Once your body is warmed up, it's time to stretch.
Why is stretching important?
- Improves flexibility
- Helps prevent and treat injuries
- Reduces muscle soreness and tension
- Loosens tight muscles
- Enhances range of motion
- Helps make exercising more comfortable and natural
Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds. You should not feel pain when you are stretching. Stretching should be done gently and should feel comfortable.
Breathe naturally while you stretch; try not to hold your breath. As you go into the stretch, relax and exhale.
After exercise, it's important to take the time to cool down your body. Avoid stopping abruptly unless you are having an adverse event. In this case, stop and seek immediate medical attention.
At the end of your workout, gradually slow down the pace or decrease the intensity of the exercise to allow your body to recover.
Your goals during a cool-down are to:
- Actively slow your heartbeat to a normal rate
- Regain a natural, regular breathing pattern
- Reduce any risk of dizziness and lightheadedness
- Relax your muscles
- Avoid muscle stiffness and soreness by stretching
Remember to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.