July Healthy Summer Challenge: Stretching

Published: July 15, 2022


How have you been doing with the Healthy Summer Challenge? Last month, we focused on nutrition recommendations to promote healthy eating choices. This month for our Healthy Summer Challenge, we’re focusing on Physical Activity. Today’s challenge is “stretch outside with a friend. Make sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated if you plan on stretching outside!

Safety Guidelines for Stretching:

  • Do a short warm-up before stretching, like marching in place.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Move slowly until you feel the muscle stretch. A safe stretch is gentle and relaxing.
  • Hold the stretch steady for 10 to 30 seconds. Do NOT bounce. Bouncing can lead to strained or torn muscles.
  • Relax then repeat the stretch two to three times.
  • Be careful to stretch both sides of your body in order to stay balanced.
  • Stretch within your own limits, don’t push yourself.
  • Never stretch if you have pain before you begin. If a particular stretch causes pain, stop doing it.
  • Breathe slowly and naturally. Do not hold your breath.
  • Always stay in control. Jerky, unsteady movements can lead to injury.

Here are some stretches to try:

Calf Stretch

Hold onto a chair, countertop, or well. Place one ankle behind the body with knee straight and the foot flat on the floor. Put the other leg slightly forward and bent. Lean forward to feel the stretch. Repeat on the other side 

Overhead stretch (shoulders)

Extend your arms overhead with elbows straight; interlock your fingers if possible. Keep your back and neck straight. 

Side bends

Extend one arm up overhead and gently lean to the opposite side. Repeat with the other arm.

Joining our challenge to add physical activity to your day is easy. Simply remember to use our July Healthy Summer Challenge calendar as a guide, and keep us posted on your progress through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! 

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