Exercise is a lot of work (duh). It’s a slow, gradual process. Before you start any exercise program, remember that stretching makes serious sense.
Warm Up: Muscles need to be warm before stretching, both to increase benefits and decrease the possibility of injury.
Start by raising your body’s core tempature with light exercise movements. A warm body stretches more easily and you’ll be able to achieve a deeper stretch and improve flexibility. Spend at least five to 10 minutes warming-up before stretching
Don’t Rush: Work slow and methodically. Start each stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch each muscle. Try to hold each stretch for at least 10 to 30 seconds.
Don’t Force It : Never push to the point of pain or force beyond your range of motion.You should stretch to the point of “mild tension”. If you overstretch you can cause damage. .
Don’t Make Excuses: If you don’t have time to warm-up before stretching, try doing a few stretches after a shower or while soaking in a hot tub. Hot water makes muscles more pliable and receptive to stretching.
You can also try a few simple full body stretches before getting out of bed in the morning
Avoid Common Mistakes: Don’t bounce a stretch. Holding a stretch is more effective and decreases risk of injury. Never stretch a muscle that is not warmed up and don’t hold your breath while stretching.
Cool Down: The purpose of a cool-down is to gradually return your heart rate and blood pressure to resting or pre-exercise levels.