With the holidays behind you, it’s the perfect time to ease back into your fitness routine or start a new one. But before you jump in – make sure you consider the benefits of stretching.

Often overlooked, stretching is the one of the most important things you can do to protect your body from injury, especially when starting up a new fitness routine. Start off with some basic stretching tips that you can apply both at home or on the road in your RV.

  • Don’t bounce: It’s a common mistake, but bouncing risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to stretch. Make sure you stretch your muscles gradually.
  • Don’t rush it: Stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Don’t stretch through pain: Don’t stretch beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness in the muscle. You shouldn’t push through muscle resistance, and never stretch to the point of pain.
  • Don’t hold your breath: Stay relaxed and breathe in and out slowly. Make sure you don’t hold your breath.
  • Stretch after you’re warmed-up: Build stretching into your regular running routine. The best time for stretching is after your run, when your muscles are warmed up. If you feel tight and need to stretch before, do it after you’ve warmed up with a slow five or ten minute walk or jog.

Source: about.com