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Why stretching and balance advice should be part of exercise support!

Stretch (flexibility) and balance exercise advice and support are an essential part of every patient's exercise plan.

The World Health Organisation together with the American College of Sports Medicine both support the advice that patients should exercise for at least 150 minutes each week (for example 30 minutes of heart healthy effort, on at least 5 days a week) and combine with twice weekly strength, flexibility and balance exercises.

A well balanced exercise plan or range of physical activities throughout the week mean that your heart, lungs, brain, muscles, joints and overall health is maintained so that you can enjoy overall health and living!

Many patients miss out on the stretching and balance work. These are key to ensuring that joint mobility (such as knees, hips, shoulders and elbows), co-ordination skills, balance, muscle strength, core strength and overall physical conditioning, and bone health feel great! Balance work when combined with strength exercise are particularly important in preventing falls, which not only result in loss of mobility, fractures and pain, but also cause significant loss of life. Stretching can also help improve posture, and help decrease rigidity of muscles and spasms in diseases such as Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and many neuromuscular conditions such as sciatica. 

In fact, stretching exercises also help to relax the body and generally many patients say they feel much better after doing them.

So, if you're a health professional add some variety into your exercise advice and help patients to try more variety of stretch and balance activities.

And if you're a patient ask your doctor or registered fitness professional  or certified fitness professional about exercises, physical activities, classes or opportunities to try some stretch and balance workouts!

You might find that, Pilates, Tai Chi, Yoga or a range of home stretch and balance work could ease those muscles and improve your posture, range of movement, mobility, balance  and strength and abilities to do more in life and share more fun with friends and family!

Ann Gates BPharm(Hons) MRPharmS

Founder of Exercise Works! and on a mission to help health professionals, globally, give quality exercise advice and support to every patient, every consult!

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Reader Comments (1)

Great article, thank you! Balance and stretching are so important for overall fitness and can help to prevent injuries too. Pilates classes are a great way to help improve balance and flexibility.

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPilatesClare

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