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New Rules on Stretching

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Tom@HK, CC licensed

It seems like the conventional wisdom on healthy habits is always changing. So when I saw this article in the New York Times about stretching, I rolled my eyes. What now, health professionals?

Static stretching (or the touch-your-toes-and-hold method, as I like to call it) is apparently not so great pre-workout. I thought this was pretty standard – it's what we’d done in gym class since I was a kid!

But this article introduces three stretches that should prime your body for activity the right way. Instead of sitting and holding, these dynamic stretches keep you moving, which increases blood flow. I tried it this past week, once before a jog and every morning when my lower back and shoulders felt the tightest. As it turns out, the new stretches totally worked for me. I felt more limber and actually “warmed up.”