REC REPORT: Stretching it to the limit with Grand Forks Recreation

Grand Forks Recreation offers classes for stretching and mobility.

There are several benefits of stretching, which should make it an important part of your fitness program.

Stretching, in its most basic form, is a natural and instinctive activity. People often stretch instinctively after waking from sleep or after long periods of inactivity. As a form of exercise, stretching involves elongating a specific muscle or muscle group to its fullest length.

Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen. Lack of flexibility causes your movement to become slower and less fluid and makes you more susceptible to muscle strains, ligament sprains and other soft tissue injuries. The most effective way to increase your flexibility is by stretching.

Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow brings more nourishment to the muscles and removes more waste by-products from the muscles. Increased blood flow can also help speed up recovery from muscle and joint injuries.

The increased flexibility that comes from stretching improves balance and co-ordination. Improved balance and co-ordination lowers your risk for falls.

Stiff and tight muscles in the lower back, hamstrings, buttocks and hips are one of the more common causes of lower back pain. Stretching these muscles will alleviate the pain.

Recent studies have found that stretching can improve artery function and lower blood pressure. In conclusion, don’t overlook the benefits of stretching. Make sure that stretching is a regular part of your fitness program.

You can join Gisela Ko on Tuesday afternoons from 1 to 2 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a one-hour stretching for mobility class. She has adapted the stretches so a chair can be used for support.

Gisela visits Christina Lake on Wednesday afternoons at the community hall from 1 to 2 p.m. Drop-in fee applies to all classes.

***

Grand Forks Recreation (GFREC) offers several drop-in fitness classes at the aquatic centre weekly.

Please pick up an October flyer for details or for more information on stretching, please give GFREC a call at 250-442-2202 or email us at gfplay@rdkb.com.