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Stretching: continued

By | Fitness Matters | No Comments

In last week’s column, we clarified some of the recent confusion about stretching; mainly the claim that no one knows if stretching is useful. Today, we’re going to leave all myths behind and answer some frequently asked questions, based on proven benefits. That way we may resume our flexibility enhancing ways, and do so, most importantly, with good reason. Q: How often should I stretch? A: If you haven’t been in the habit of stretching regularly, a good fifteen-minute stretch session, three times a week will be sufficient to loosen your muscles and begin to increase flexibility. After about a month, you’ll want to increase that duration to five or six days a week in order to gain further flexibility. Q: How long should I hold each stretch? A: It takes about twenty seconds for a given muscle to relax and become extensible from the moment tension is detected.






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The Truth about Stretching Revealed

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Recently, several articles have been circulating and studies emerging, which raise questions about the age-old practice of stretching. We used to be so clear on the matter; stretching is a good thing and has important bodily benefits. Now, an article in the New York Times states: “The truth is that after dozens of studies and years of debate, no one really knows whether stretching helps, harms, or does anything in particular for performance or injury rates.” – How did we all go from stretching in every gym class to being so confused?






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High Heeled – High Risk: Ladies, the price you pay for fashionable footwear

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In 1998, Harvard researchers found a direct connection between wearing high heels, and knee osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Since then, emergency room doctor at the University Hospital of Wales has studied high-heeled shoe related injuries, both acute, and long term. His conclusion –  “Women should stick to shoes with heels less than 4cm (1.5in) if they want to avoid a trip to the hospital.” The lack of support they provide, combined with their excessive height, give high heels a mechanical advantage, perfect for rolling an ankle. Furthermore, because of their steep incline, “when you wear heels”, one researcher says, “impact forces are transferred from the sturdy heel and arch to the ball of your foot. The higher the heel, the more body weight the ball is supporting. This can cause all sorts of problems, from metatarsal bruising and hammertoe deformities to corns, bunions and calluses.” From a kinesiologist’s perspective,…






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