Student Web Activity

Chapter 9 Lesson 3: Stretching for Fitness

Introduction

Stretching before strenuous exercise is one way to be sure you do not get injured and stay fit. On the Web site below, you will learn about the debate over which kind of stretching is best, and some basic stretching exercises you can use every day.

Link to explore: Berkley Wellness:  http://www.berkeleywellness.com/html/fw/fwFit02Stretching.html

Directions

  • Start at the Berkley Wellness Web site.
  • Read the “Home Stretch” page.
  • Take notes as you read.
  • When you are done reading, answer the questions below.
  • Finally, using the information from the link create a personal stretching routine that you can use before and after strenuous exercise.

Questions

  1. What are three of the benefits of stretching?
  1. Is it possible to injure yourself while stretching?
  1. What is the safest kind of stretching and what does it entail?
  1. How can stretching help your mind?
  1. What are six stretching tips?

Answers

  1. The benefits of stretching include:
    1. Improved flexibility.
    2. Enhanced physical performance.
    3. Muscle tension and stiffness are relieved.
    4. Blood gets to muscles and makes injuries less likely.
  1. Yes, it is possible to injure yourself while stretching.
  1. The safest kind of stretching is called “static stretching.” To do it you stretch through a muscle's full range of movement until you feel resistance, but not pain, then hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  1. When done in a slow and focused manner, an extended stretching routine is an excellent relaxation method and stress reducer. Stretching can help tense people reduce anxiety and muscle tension, as well as lower blood pressure and breathing rate.
  1. Stretching tips include:
    1. Stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility
    2. Stretch for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
    3. Stretch before exercising or playing a sport to improve performance and perhaps prevent injury.
    4. Besides a general stretch of major muscle groups, stretch the specific muscles required for your sport or activity.
    5. Do not stretch until it hurts. If there is any pain, stop.
    6. Do not bounce. Stretching should be gradual and relaxed.
    7. Focus on the muscle groups you want to stretch.
    8. Try to stretch opposing muscles in both your arms and legs. Include static stretches plus PNF or active-isolated stretching.
    9. Do not hold your breath during a stretch.
    10. Stretch after exercising to prevent muscles from tightening up.
Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some additional web sites that offer information on stretching both in and outdoors. Since so many students use computers, you might want to cover stretching to prevent repetitive use injuries:

  1. Healthy Computing:
    http://www.healthycomputing.com/health/stretches/
  2. Flexibility Log:
    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=47967
  3. How Much How Often:
    http://weboflife.ksc.nasa.gov/exerciseandaging/chapter4_stretching.html
  4. Five Fantastic Stretching Exercises:
    http://www.halhigdon.com/15Ktraining/Stretch.htm

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