USDA Exercise Tips


Stretching feels great -- especially if you've been in one position for any length of time. It comes naturally to us at those times. But structured stretching has special advantages. Stretching helps:

  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Improve flexibility
  • Increase range of movement
  • Increase blood circulation a bit

Back of Shoulder, Upper Back - Bring one arm across the front of your body and pull it close to your chest with the opposite hand.

Triceps - Place a hand at nape of neck, with the elbow pointing up. With the opposite hand, press the elbow toward the back. Repeat with the other arm.

Chest - Stand in a doorway and grasp each side of it. Lean forward slightly until you feel a good stretch in your chest muscles, then hold.

Front of Thigh - Holding on to a chair or wall to stabilize yourself, lift right heel toward your buttocks. Grab it with your right hand and continue to pull your foot up until you feel a gentle stretch in your thigh. Try to remain upright and open at the front of the hip on the side you are stretching. Try not to overflex the knee. Hold.

Back of Thigh - Stand facing a step, one stride away. Place heel of one leg on step, keeping leg straight. With the opposite hand, reach toward the foot, bending forward from the hip, not the waist. You may bend the leg you're standing on.

Calf and Achilles - Standing with the balls of the feet on a step, drop heels down, keeping legs straight. Repeat several times. For Achilles, bend the knee a little bit when the heel is still down.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.