Summer 2017

Callie What I Learned from My Dog Amazing to me what all I have learned from our rescue puppy, Callie and to think she is only 10 months old. Every morning upon getting out of bed, she takes a nice big stretch. And she does this periodically throughout the day. When was the last time that you stretched? This morning? Yesterday? Last week? Never? So, you may think it is just normal for pets to stretch but you ask why should I stretch. There are several benefits to stretching and may include: maintaining or increasing our joint range of motion, relieve stress, help with coordination, prevent muscle strain, reduce muscle tension and more. With the aging process joints can become less flexible and make activities of daily living more challenging. Walking may become more difficult, putting away groceries on higher shelves may be harder, or even turning our heads to look behind us more challenging. In addition,with having inflexible joints and tighter muscles we may find that our balance decreases and so we increase our chance of falling and hurting ourselves. So, are you ready to get started stretching? Do remember that it is important to stretch correctly so as not to hurt yourself. A few guidelines to follow include: don’t stretch ‘cold’ muscles-warm up a bit prior to stretching; don’t stretch to point of pain- tension may be acceptable; strive for smooth motions- not jerky; stretch major muscles groups or those specific to your need or activity- such as lower back, legs and feet for walking; keep body symmetry by stretching same muscles groups on both sides of your body; and be consistent by keeping a regular stretching program so that muscles remember it is ok to be stretched. by DOROTHY CASE RN, MS, LMT 26 | Summer 2017 ON A MISSION