Flexibility and stretching
Flexibility is the ability to move your joints and muscles through their full range of motion. Stretching is an activity that helps you to be more flexible. It's also something you can easily do at home.
Stretching at home
- Warm up your muscles slightly before you stretch them. Walk or do some other light aerobic exercise for a few minutes, and then start stretching.
- Ease yourself into the stretch, relax, and don't push or bounce. You should feel a stretch, but not pain, in the muscle.
- Exhale as you do the stretch. While you hold the stretch, inhale deeply.
- Try closing your eyes while you stretch. It helps you relax.
- Take a moment to enjoy the good, warm feeling that comes after a good stretch.
Exercise DVDs can teach you more about stretching various muscles.
Aerobic fitness (endurance)
Aerobic fitness means increasing how well your body uses oxygen. Look for activities that make your heart beat faster and make you breathe harder.
Experts suggest that you do at least 2½ hours of moderate activity a week or at least 1¼ hours of vigorous activity a week. It's fine to do blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
Muscle fitness (strength)
Muscle fitness means building stronger muscles and increasing how long you can use them. You can strengthen a muscle by doing any activity that pushes or pulls against that muscle.
Experts say that you should work on strengthening your muscles at least 2 times a week. Focus on the large muscle groups in your arms, legs, back, chest, and core.