Stretching and warming up are two great ways to reduce the chances of picking up an injury. After all, prevention is better than cure!
Everyone can stretch, it is never too late. You can be young or old, work outside or at a desk, play sports or exercise infrequently but we can all benefit. (If you have had recent surgery or have a joint or muscle problem please refer to your doctor first before starting a stretching or exercise programme).
Anytime and almost as often as you like.
It relaxes the mind and attunes the body. The benefits to you are:
A stretch should be relaxed and sustained with the focus on the muscles being used. The wrong way is to bounce up and down to the point of pain. Regular, correct stretching will make you feel much better. Breathe slowly and rhythmically. Breathe out when bending forward and as you hold the stretch. When you breathe normally this should ensure a comfortable stretch. DO NOT hold your breath whilst stretching.
Easy stretch hold for 10-15 seconds
Developed stretch hold for 20-30 seconds
Drastic stretch over 30 seconds but do not push too far